Monday, 2 January 2012

The First Sign.


'Yes - I know Winter has only just begun - officially on December 21st - and there has just been a snowstorm here although the sun in shining again now, but stepping outside this morning I saw the first snowdrop. I just had to take a photograph of it - and it is a poor little thing. I was going to say 'a feeble little thing' but then I thought of these hardy little harbingers of the New Year and the way they push their spikes up through the hard, frosty ground to give us such joy and I hadn't the heart to call it feeble.

In the hedges around our fields the wild honeysuckle has begun to come into bud and the catkins on the alder trees are showing red. One week of relatively warm weather and the hazel catkins will be bursting forth. And all this at 700feet above sea level. And, of course, all kinds of growing is going on just below the surface of the ground.

I have to cling on to that through the weeks ahead to the end of February when the weather can throw anything at us. I also remind myself that on January 28th 1992 the weather was so warm that I wrote in my diary - 'sat in my shirt-sleeves on a tree stump in the field and did the Times crossword and ate an apple.'

The farmer has just brought down the box for the last of the decorations, so yippee - in five minutes time it will be goodbye tree for another year.

20 comments:

Mimi Foxmorton said...

I love the word: catkins!
(And I love a mild winter even more!)

Happy New Year!
~Mimi
The Goat Borrower

Arija said...

Oh the joy of even one little snowdrop bud awakening all the hope of spring to come although your winter has not even properly hit.
I did not realise you lived at the same altitude as our house on the mountain. Here on the farm we are at just 420 feet.

I love the time when hazel catkins stretch themselves and smile.

George said...

Nice to see these little reminders that hope springs eternal, but rest assured that winter also has a few reminders in store for us.

Heather said...

That tiny snowdrop is such a little treasure. I must nip outside and see if any of ours are showing yet.

Elizabeth said...

Oh happy snowdrop!
We are expecting snow this week.
Happy post Xmas clean up

Bovey Belle said...

Snap! I saw the first one today and took a photo too! We had sunshine - now it is raining again : ( But like you, the catkins on Alder and Hazel show that even in the middle of winter, we shouldn't despair od spring being too far away.

rkbsnana said...

Catkins? I have never heard of them. Isn't is so much fun to put the tree up yet always so glad to get put away. Have a great week.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

That's amazing. I love your header, too!
Winter has jut set in here. Pretty messy, with a driveway that is mostly ice.
Cheers from Cottage Country!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I found a snowdrop in my Mum's garden yesterday too. Lots of little green shoots sprouting up all over the place, and the birds seemed to think spring started today.

John Gray said...

five minutes ago, our tree went on the compost heap!

MorningAJ said...

Our decorations are down now.
I love the snowdrop. I think they're so pretty.

angryparsnip said...

Gosh... I know what you mean it is a perfect day here 81/43 Beautiful but way to warm... It should be 65/30 with storms rolling in and out every few days.... yikes !
Doing some paper work today so Christmas decorations will be put away tomorrow.
I grew with the Polish traditions so our Creche and Tree usually stayed up till January 6th, Epiphany.

How lucky you live where you can see Snowdrops. A magical name.

cheers, parsnip

Pondside said...

It's lovely here - blue sky and 10 degrees. I'll have to go to my favorite snow-drop-viewing place to see what's up!

Reader Wil said...

Lovely to see the first sign of spring, but also frightening. Suppose all trees start flowering and suddenly Jack Frost turns up ? Winter in January can be very harsh and deadly!
Anyway I do hope that you'll have a mild winter and a great spring with a lot of flowers!
Happy New Year!

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

My hyacinths are up already...outdoor hyacinths! It's a bit sad because you just know that we're going to have a cold couple of weeks sometime soon and they're not going to survive :(

Dartford Warbler said...

Only spears of green leaves for my southern snowdrops, but how lovely that you found one little white bud to bring hopes of spring!

Lori at Jarvis House said...

Snowdrops are wonderful, and I have planted them and dug up and replanted them for over 35 years. They are now boardering my entire garden. Snowdrops are the subject of the January teacup by the Royal Albert Ltd., Flower of the Month series. The print is lovely and the shoap of the cut is too. Happy New Year. Lori from the Jarvis House.

ChrisJ said...

Oh my goodness, I always forget how early the first signs of spring appear in England. We aren't into our winter yet. --which is not really winter to most people. We've had two weeks of gorgeous weather -- in the high 70's, but it's cold overnight and we have had periods of dense fog overnight. I do really love snow drops. And then come the daffodils!

ArtPropelled said...

My tree comes down today and I'm quite relieved to be able to get on with the new year. Lovely to see the tiny snowdrop. Everything of the best Weaver!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad you enjoyed my poor little snowdrop.