Friday, 30 April 2010

The Bluebell Season

English Bluebells

Spring has continued to be unusual. The infamous April showers hardly materialised. It was the driest April that I can remember. However, that has not stopped the spring flowers. The garden is awash with colour, most notably the bluebells. They really are a sight to behold.

Once they start to flower, they become more and more blue until there is a carpet stretching across the garden and through the woodland. Beautiful!

The cherry, pear and apple trees are covered in blossom. It was windy today and the blossom was falling like confetti.

It is hard to describe just how much colour there is in the garden at this time of year. Perhaps a few photographs will summarise...




Japanese Quince

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Springtime in Full Swing

Dog Violet

In the last couple of weeks, spring arrived with a vengeance. This is the latest spring that we have had for many years, after a winter that went on and on.

The weather has improved and the wild flowers have sprung up all over the place. There are millions of them - many more than usual. Violets, celandine, wood anemones, wood sorrel, forget-me-nots, cuckoo flowers and just this week the bluebells have started flowering. My favourite time of year.

I heard the first cuckoo this week and also saw three swallows back from their winter in Africa. So, spring is well and truly here.

It is strange that the weather systems that have given us this good weather are responsible for complete chaos over most of Europe. Our usual south-westerly weather systems have been held at bay by a large area of high pressure over the UK. The ash belching from the erupting volcano in Iceland is being swept south east over the UK and mainland Europe causing the shutdown of European airspace. If our normal prevailing winds were in place, the ash would be blown northwards and out of harms way.

The consequences to the airline industry and other businesses relying on and supplying air transport are incalculable.

In the meantime, the result is an eerie quietness. We are on the flight path to Heathrow airport, one of the busiest in the world. Although we are not very close and the aircraft are usually quite high when passing over our house, there are always aircraft in the sky. Not so this week. The only planes flying are tiny prop planes flying over at very low altitude. It is very strange indeed.

This is likely to be a death knell for some of the airlines, who have already been hit very hard by the recession. I hope that this week the airline industry can get back to some kind of normality.

Cuckoo Flower