02 February, 2008

Signs of spring

Snowdrops just coming into full flower



















Hazel catkins, otherwise known as "lamb's tails", for obvious reasons. In a brisk breeze they twirl merrily, just as a lamb's tail does when it's suckling.


















Crocuses coming into bloom.


















It's not just the flowers. The local robins have been singing to guard their territories all winter, of course, but over the last couple of days I've heard them joined by blackbirds, great tits, chaffinches, skylarks and a small brown stripey bird that I think was a dunnock, all proclaiming, "This is my bit, come and set up home with me!"

And on the local reservoir a pair of mute swans were courting this morning, and the great crested grebes are sporting their breeding plumage of colourful chestnut-coloured ruffs and feathered crests, for all the world like Elizabethan dandies. (I haven't got a telephoto lens, but you can see pictures of these very handsome birds on the RSPB website).

Spring is in the air.

8 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

The snowdrops and winterlings are out here as well. No wonder; there hasn't been a decent frost since Christmas.

Carla said...

What are winterlings, Gabriele?

Gabriele C. said...

Small yellow flowers that are the earliest bloomers in spring here, together with the snowdrops.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

The evening are just beginning to pull out that little bit too and there's a 'feeling' in the air. It's not quite Chaucer's pilgrimage time, but metaphorically speaking, I bet his pilgrims were all looking longingly at the brochures and checking over their travelling equipment about now!

Carla said...

Gabriele - they sound very pretty. What do they look like? Are they bell-shaped, like snowdrops?

Elizabeth - yes, I notice that it's now light until five, which is nice. You can just see the pilgrims, can't you? "What about Canterbury this year, darling? So much more exciting than Walsingham. Hugh and Margaret went last year and they told me about this lovely little hotel they found, so smart and not really expensive."

Constance said...

Oh, pretty. Our spring is safely buried under a foot of snow. I'll post flower pics oh, around June or so. :)

Bernita said...

~groan~
Cruel woman.
We had a foot of snow Friday.

Carla said...

Constance, Bernita - last year we had the spring in January and the snow in March...