Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

(Un)seasonality


This morning on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, there was an item about the number of wildflowers that were seen to be flowering in Cardiff on New Year's Day, 63 different species! You can read more about it and see the list of species, here.

I had exchanged Tweets with Wessex Reiver and said I'd see what was in flower on my lunch time walk . . .

I began in the garden, the Winter Honeysuckle (lonicera fragrantissima) is in full flower already and the scent is delightful

 

there are a dozen more plants and shrubs in flower . . .

 

Pansy; Honesty; Winter Jasmine;
Feverfew; Perrywinkle; Primrose;
Rose; Calendula; Viburnum;
Polyanthus; Flowering Box; Garrya.



Out across the fields self-seeded Rape plants are in bloom, some fields glowed yellow in the sunshine!

 

My route took me over the fields, following a footpath parallel with the Stour Brook, one of the main feeder steams to to River Stour which divides Suffolk from Essex and winds its way through Constable Country to the North Sea at the port of Harwich. Along the way I spotted a dozen wildflowers in bloom.

 

White Deadnettle; Groundsel; Mustard;
Rape; Shepherd's Purse; Hogweed;
Chamomile; Dandelion; Yarrow;
Red Deadnettle; Red Campion; Wild Stawberry.


The wide "DEFRA Wildlife Headlands" have had their annual cut by the farm contractors (the sign has been minced too!) I've noticed the birdlife and particularly the raptor populations have seemed to benefit from these areas, as we now regularly see Barn, Tawny and Little Owls as well as Sparrow Hawks, Kestrels, Buzzards and the occasional Marsh Harrier and Red Kite.



The recent storm brought down one of the Crack Willows on the bank of the brook and smashed it down over the footpath. Crack Willows are meant to crack and if left alone the branches smashed into the ground will root and new branches with grow vertically and become new trees. This won't be allowed to happen here, it will soon be moved away and the footpath with be clear again.


Behind the village church are paddocks, normally there are elegant retired race horses, but today – look at these little Shetland ponies racing to say hello!

 

 Smile for the camera!


The ponies weren't the only creatures enjoying the mild temperatures and sun today . . . or posing for the camera . . .

 

Do you recognise who this is?

It's Cheep!



Celia
x

18 comments:

  1. I wonder if the weather is going to stay like that or will we have at least some real winter?

    I love flowers and it seems that the ponies and the rooster are enjoying sunshine, but it's a bit too early for spring...

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  2. It is quite amazing what is in flower at the moment isn't it. My winter flowering honeysuckle is also out, I think it's about 5 weeks earlier than last year.

    Cheap has grown up to be VERY handsome!

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  3. Sorry meant Cheep not Cheap!

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  4. Confused, confused, confused...still wondering where winter is hiding!

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  5. Never knew about crack willows. Thanks.

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  6. The pink camelia in my mums garden in Cardiff was in flower on Christmas day it wasn't the only one I saw either.

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  7. My, but Cheep has grown! It seems the only thing with their winter coat on are the ponies :/

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  8. It is very strange isn't it, almost as if winter hasn't begun yet. On my drive to work this morning I noticed cherry blossom! Not right at all and I should think the hard frost we're expecting at the weekend will do it some damage.

    There's a primrose out in my garden too. Even up here in the very north of the Midlands.

    I love those sweet ponies, they look rather cheeky chappies.

    Lovely pictures as ever.
    Stephx

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  9. Those Shetlands must be hot in their winter coats. My goats sure are itchy!

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  10. Lovely to share your walk. The same story prompted me to write my first blog article for ages!I fear we haven't even glimpsed winter yet.

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  11. This is a great post - but wow, I would have expected to see these photos in March or April...
    I'm due to fly to Spain on 27th, for a printmaking course (yay!). I bet it will snow on 26th, just to spite me!
    I never heard of a "crack willow" before - how interesting!

    Cheep has certainly grown up! I have been meaning to ask about him ( him, yes?), but discractions.. So glad he's well and healthy. Does he still come into your studio to "help"?

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  12. decorartuk - I think we will get a colder spell soon.

    Su - I thought it was very early for the Winter Honeysuckle. Would be interesting to see what's in bloom at Anglesey Abbey Winter Walk.

    TH - it's going to jump out and surprise us!

    Bella - Crack Willow is Salix fragilis if you want to look it up in a book of native British trees.

    Rhiannon - my Camelia survived last winter and now has some fat flower buds. I'll have to get out there with the fleece if the winter arrives!

    Petoskystone - the ponies are very furry - maybe they know something we don't?

    CC - I've seen various prunus trees in flower around here - very strange indeed.

    Terry - I think the ponies had been rolling - they were quite muddy!

    Everything in the garden - I'll pop over for a read...

    Rosemarie - yep! Cheep's a big boy now!

    Lizzie - the winter traditionally arrives for my Mum's birthday at the end of January... we'll see?!
    Cheep would love to come into the studio, but I'm trying to teach him that he isn't a human - he's a cockerel (complete with cock-a-doodle-doo!)

    Celia
    x

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  13. Your first four pictures have a blue cast and the last four look like a decent colour, what happened?

    What an amazing amount of flora for this time of year

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  14. Well spotted Mrs Eagle-Eyes!

    These photos were taken with my new camera - it doesn't cope well on the macro setting when the light levels are low and the resulting pics came out blue-ish.

    I hadn't time to phaff about so they just had to do.

    Celia

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  15. We're not quite as far ahead here in our North Welsh valley - a misleading description, we're much closer to the Cheshire plain than Snowdonia - we still have far too much in flowering and blossoming for January, I fear the effects of a hard frost.

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  16. Celia, it seems as if you've got lots more in bloom in January than I'm able to see here in New York.

    I'd planned to walk across Central Park, taking my camera, today, to see what might be going on. However, what was going on was a strong wind and an increasingly grey and rainy sky. So...I gave up and took the bus.

    I'll have another look at the weekend. Meanwhile, it is very unseasonably warm. That is for sure.

    xo

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  17. How funny. I blogged about what is in bloom too and it is ridiculous. Up here it seems that what we have are plants which have not stopped blooming rather than ones which have come into flower early. There is the odd primrose but the snowdrops are coming out at the usual rate. I think our season has been less extreme than it has in the south and east so perhaps that accounts for it.

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