Monday, 21 April 2014

Hello blossom!

I have decided blossom time is my favourite time of the year - I have probably always thought so, but it has certainly been reinforced over these last few days.

Blossom Time - Walter E Spradbery 1936 (Curwen Press)

It all started early here in West Dorset - our plum came first about three weeks ago and then disappeared quickly. The days were unlike any other this year - warm with lovely blue skies which replaced the leaden skies we have been so used to. The Bluebirds arrived and with them the blossom and trundled on at its very own delightful pace. Next to follow were our Sunset espaliers and they are still in full flower as I write. The family orchard up country in Gloucestershire is totally different.....a good three weeks behind us down here (and no sign of Bluebirds yet). 

Ashmead's Kernel

Up there, the pear was first, then plum (both still only just in blossom) and the apples are just on the cusp of showing (about 20+ varieties of which I know only a few). Another few days until full blossom I think, but the temperature dropped like a stone yesterday and cold winds from the east must have slowed things down. The cherry blossom covered the grass like snow. I had to wrap up warm to take my seat in the orchard to watch and listen to the birds at dawn and dusk - different again to down here where our garden is dominated by the small birds and up there by Blackbird and Thrush. I remember Bullfinches when I was a child, but I haven't seen them there for years.

Early spring plum

The chorus is different up there too, as it is everywhere I guess, but very noticeable this year - mainly due I think to me getting back in tune with the birds around my own home again. After living slap bang in town it was hard to hear what was about, but now I notice it here on the edge of town. Our avian visitors are many, varied and frequent. It also helps that there are no cats in the neighbourhood! 

Blenheim Orange

Blossom time fascinates me - each tree hands over the baton to the next. This slow motion window of spring is a miracle to behold. Catch it while you can.


The Two Terriers said...


We've got the Swallows and House martins but no Swifts and a Cuckoo this morning at 6.30. Our blossom is the same, a slow march through the orchard. Plums gone, cherries still flowering, just, and the pears in flow flow. Some apples in full flow but others winding up. A lovely time of the year altogether. We get the odd Bullfinch but the Chaffies hold sway and the yellowhammers are starting to reappear. My farmer friend reckons that's because the hedges are being replanted and the orchards aren't as intensively cultivated.

Nice poster too you swine.

have a good one and work off the Hot Cross Buns.


Dickie Straker said...

What a lovely morning for you John to hear the Cuckoo, amazing and a long time ahead of us no doubt. Heard my first one mid-May last year I think. Can't wait for the first one this year. I am ashamed to say all that is left from those buns and cake is a few crumbs! Someone had to help out. TTFN, Dickie

Peter champion said...

Hello Dickie.I have been noting the arrival of the Swallows and Cuckoo on the nursery potting shed wall for around 20 years.They came on the 14 th this year which is about average.The Cuckoo was a regular visitor till the last few years arriving mid may.They have missed three years in the last 5.A little worrying and i do miss the call.Bluebirds Dickie!.Was your move to Dover!?!.

The Two Terriers said...

Dickie, heard the Cuckoo again today while trout fishing.


Dickie Straker said...

It's not fair! A friend of mine heard one on the Avon the other day. It's amazing how so may folks don't even here one in a year - I think I went a couple of years without hearing its call. Hope your days trouting was good. TTFN, Dickie