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.
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’.
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.
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), and the days are starting to lengthen, the wheel of the year is changing direction, turning away from winter and wherever it will take us next? Less pain, more light and music?