“Shed not a clout till may be out…”

It’s not an instruction to keep your coat on until June; it’s telling you that you can take your cardigan off once the may is in blossom, which has been known to happen as early as April.

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Lesser Celandine

The lesser celandines (Ficaria verna) are in flower. Celandines are the floral equivalent of the swallow, they appear around the same time and mark the coming of spring. In fact the word celandine comes from the Greek name for swallow: chelidon. One of its local names is spring messenger; others are brighteye, butter and cheese, frog’s foot, golden guineas and, less romantically, pilewort because it was once used to treat haemorrhoids.

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Celandine shine

Have you ever tried to photograph lesser celandine or buttercup flowers on a sunny day? The petals are so shiny, like little cups of mirrors, that the reflected sunlight flares and obscures the details of the flower; if you are trying to photograph a celandine in close up, you have to do it in the shade.

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First snowdrops

Ian Bushell has sent us a picture of the first snowdrops, taken today on the wooded side of the path along the edge of Lambrok Meadow. Lovely!


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