The Devon lane in early Spring
Glorious Spring is coming
Now for the clean bright days of Spring in England. The Devon lane always gives us something to admire. Follow me on my walk down a country lane. See what I see and hear what I hear at this wonderful time of the year, when everything is waking up to new life. The flowers are beginning to rise from their winter sleep and to bloom once more.The birds and animals are getting into greater activity.
Spring is here
The colour of the moment is yellow. Everywhere the bonny daffodils are sporting their golden heads. Standing in glorious ranks along the roadway into the village. Cheerfully they trumpet to us that Spring is here. The dull days of winter have passed. Now we see lengthening days and the chance to be out of doors for longer. It is true the clouds can gather and drip rain upon us, but once the sun comes out we forget all that and enjoy the moment of bliss. Then is the time to enjoy the Devon lane. Come with me to see the glorious sights.
Daffodils are everywhere
Plenty of rain in an English Spring
Rain is seldom far away
As you can see from the above photo rain is never far away. Here the water drains off the fields and down the drain. We have had lots of rain prior to this dry spell. The livestock have been unable to be put out in the fields, but now with a few dry days they can go out into the fresh green pastures. It is fun to watch cows first let out into pasture after the confinement of winter. They skip and gamboll in a very skittish way. We know how they feel, for we all enjoy the outdoors. Spring is the new beginning we have all looked for; the resurrection from the dead of winter.
Beautiful shiny yellow
Celndines are among my favourite Spring flowers. They are so bright, the petals very shiny and yellow. It appeals to the romantic in us with its heart-shaped leaves. They can flower as early as February, depending on the weather and finish flowering in May. They have between seven and twelve petals. They grow low down in the hedge.
Close up of a celandine
Lamb's tail catkins
How many lambs do you know with tails like that?
Lambs used to have long tails which look very like the lambtail catkins of the hazel tree, but they were prone to infection so nowadays are docked in early life. These catkins appear in early Spring and are one of the first signs that Spring proper is on the way. They hang in the wind and their pollen is wind borne and floats to the tiny crimson flowers further down the branch. These are just little crimson tufts which are often overlooked by people who enjoy the catkins.
Yellow, dusty lambstail catkins,
Shaking in the wind,
Send your pollen to your sister
Down the stem.
She sports a crimson feather
To catch your gift.
Shake, shake I say, in the wind
This is the tiny crimson flower of the hazel tree - I've caught it too late in the season to see it at its best
The scene up the hill
This hill climbs steeply out of our village. Once a year the fittest amongst us include it in a run. I am not one of the fittest I hasten to add. The low lying Devon lane is more to my liking. It is really steeper than it looks in this picture as the photo is taken from land somewhat higher than the village. The beautiful green grass of our countryside is typical and due to the plentiful supply of rain we have. From the top of Pencross there is a wonderful panoramic view down the Culm Valley. One day I will go there with my camera and show you.
Life in the Culm Valley - Locally produced food
Just as the catkins of the hazel are the male flowers and the crimson tufts the female so there are male and female primroses. I will take my camera and try to catch the difference for you. These flowers are a lovely delicate shade of creamy yellow and flower mainly in April and May.
The male primrose flower
The female primrose - The stamen in the centre is quite different from the stigma on the male flower
Male and female flowers
Many, if not most, flowers have their male and female organs on the same flower, but the primrose does not. Also the hazel tree has male catkins and tiny female flowers separately but on the same tree. Yew trees are either male or female. The male trees do not have berries while the female do.
The humble dandelion
A romantic gateway
The lover's tryst
This gateway looks very romantic. I can imagine a young couple meeting here and gently leaning on the gate as they wistfully view the scene and contemplate their future. I would give them a word of warning. Once when I was having trouble with depression, after a great struggle to do something rather than moping about the house, I decided to take the dog for a walk. Reaching the top of a hill I came to a gateway and decided to relax a moment and lean against the gate. No sooner had I done so than I found myself flat on my face on top of the collapsed gate. No harm came to me but I was wiser about farmers; they don't always maintain their gates as they should.
First lambstails, now Pussy willow
These catkins have a lovely furry feel to them. there are usually blooming around Palm Sunday and have traditionally been used to decorate churches on Palm Sunday. The bush is also known as Palm because of this.