Signs of Spring

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Bare winter branches of a crab apple against the winter sky

Tonight the weather forecaster was predicting the coldest night of the year so far.  We are clearly in the depths of winter.  Nevertheless, it is not too early to take your class out to look for the first signs of spring.

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In fact, because it has been such a mild winter some signs of spring are already well advanced!  Above is a flower bud opening on a Kerria Japonica.  Below, some daffodils, well on the way to flowering.

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It is interesting though, that although some signs of spring are much more advanced than one would expect in an ‘average’ year, others refused to be rushed.

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These snow drops are just poking their heads above ground; exactly as I would expect in the middle of January.  I wonder why some plants are more affected more by variations in the weather than others?

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These hazel catkins are also at about at the same stage as I would expect for the time of year.

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On the other hand, this rhubarb is at least a month further on than usual!

If taking children out to look for signs of spring the chances are that you will encourage them to take photographs so that they have a record of the changes.  Do consider taking a sound recorder too; I wonder if there will be any change in the bird song in the weeks ahead?

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