Thursday, 21 April 2016

Cherry Blossom and Bluebells

The transition from Winter to Spring this year has seemed indistinct and largely unimpressive. It has been relatively warm and very stormy and this has affected the timing of flowering plants but the thing that really matters now, is that it's warm enough for me to be wearing shorts again.
Blackthorn Blossom Fizzing in the Hedgerows
Bluebells are flooding the woodlands, like some kind of alchemical spell, and the trees are bursting magisterially into their full leafy green grandeur. We took a wonderful walk up on Farley Mount, to see the equine monument there. The pyramid/rocket shaped tribute is supposedly built on top of a Bronze age tumulus, there are several in the vicinity. 
This area is a fabulous spot for a spring picnic - skylarks sing aloft and swallows swoop over the fields below. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Isle of Wight and easily identify Southampton docks and the New Forest.
As we ate our sandwiches my daughter noticed something closer by, a tiny lizard had popped out to sunbathe, right by our feet. We explored further, into the delightful Parnholt Wood, where the Bluebells are in full spate and searched for an ancient bowl barrow that a friend had told me about.
Cherry bloom is now flowering along the bare spindly branches everywhere and the Apple & Pear blossom is starting to appear too. Naturally, you will need to check back in a month or so to ensure that the flowers are turning into immature fruit and this is one of the reasons that I favour tree spotting on my regular routes. 
If you examine the Falling Fruit map, you will notice an abundance of locations about my home town of Southampton, as well as around my work places of Hedge End and Segensworth, where I habitually walk during my lunch hours.
Look Closely in this Puddle
Now is the perfect time to spot where those secret fruit trees have been hiding and we will be leading some local blossom walks soon, so check back regularly for details, which are very likely to be at short notice.

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