Wednesday 8 February 2023

Candlemas season - harbinger of spring

It isn't spring yet; but this is a great time of year for observing the change of the seasons. 

Snowdrops are at their peak; these being the first of the new year's flowers:

And now we are seeing the first of the crocuses (or croci, as I prefer to call them) - which are the first ground flowers giving a splash of - rather lurid - colours:

Up in the trees - which remain completely bare of leaves - are the birch, hazel and alder catkins:

Then there are the songbirds, which have suddenly ramped-up their volume and frequency; generating an irresistible excitement. 

Yesterday, I heard one of the loudest blackbirds ever! - but it is mostly the small birds, with their high pitched twittering, that are evident.

In sum; although February is often the coldest, and sometimes a snowy, month here - we are in no doubt as to the change of season. After several weeks of what feels like biological inactivity from around the winter solstice; this season of Candlemas (or Imbolc) is one of stirring life; as well as growing light. 

Note: I did Not take the above photos - but the first two are from where I live in Newcastle upon Tyne. 


Francis Berger said...

"It isn't spring yet; but this is a great time of year for observing the change of the seasons."

Yes, I experienced that today when I went out for a walk around noon. It was -2 C, but there was no wind, and I could feel the sun's warmth despite the frosty temps. The nights this past week have been the coldest of the season, but signs of winter's loosening grip are evident everwhere after the sun rises.

Anonymous said...

You're ahead of where we are here in northern New England. We have another month before we see any crocuses. It is unseasonably warm here this year, so perhaps we will at least see snowdrops a bit early. I can't wait! They are so lovely!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Sue - Well, Newcastle's climate is famously balmy...!

I agree about snowdrops. Even in small patches, I think they probably give as much pleasure than any other type of flower - perhaps matched only by massed bluebells in May.

Anonymous said...

Bruce - Yes, I am enthralled when I see photos of massed bluebells in English landscapes!