|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).
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!
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.