Winterbloom

Botanical

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In yesterday’s brief respite from the rain, I tracked the sun north and east to Stamfordham and was rewarded by many more hints of spring than have crept up to the fell.

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One of my favourite early flowers is the Witch Hazel (called Winterbloom in North America – a name which fits it perfectly), seen here in two varieties – the more common golden yellow Hamamelis sp. and the gorgeous coral version, ‘Jelena’.

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I also saw for the first time a white-flowered Butterbur (Petasites alba) – all the ones I’ve seen before have been pink.  Like strange underwater creatures, its mad globed heads poke up through the earth before the leaves appear – a habit it shares with its relative, Coltsfoot.

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Today it’s back to wind, rain and grey skies but surely now that we’re past Candlemas, or the pagan Imbolc if you prefer (traditionally the start of Spring)…

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