Here is an excerpt. The soloist could be a thrush, given the tendency to repeat the same line two or three times, but I am very happy to be corrected by lovely birdy people. CORRECTION: Soloist is in fact a BLACKBIRD!! Thank you birdy peeps!
I also wrote about the early buds, and so thought I would update you with their progress. I’ll visit them in the same order, so that you can compare with my post from a week ago.
The amelanchier has lost its brownish-apricot fuzz, and the flowers have unfurled. They do look magnificent against a blue sky:
The crabapple’s leaves have stretched and opened to reveal the blossom buds:
The peach blossom is still like fairy-lights. Orchard fruit blossom all tends to have the same basic flower-shape: a five-petalled cup with a cluster of anthers (the male parts with pollen) around the central style (the female part with a platform for the pollen to be deposited. The ovary at the base of the style will swell to form the fruit).
Peach and apricot blossom are a lovely deep pink, with deeper pink anthers.
The quince hasn’t changed so much, just stretched a bit. It is sporting some body-builder like veins on the underside of its leaves.
The pear’s claws have become talons, and you can now see the cluster of pink-tinged buds (though they will open purest white).
The apple’s first downy leaves have opened out, and the cluster of blossom buds are swelling.
The next one is of one of our two cherry trees. I was interested to note the clusters of four flowers. I won’t get my hopes up, these are destined for the birds.
Then we have our damson, ‘Farleigh’. Lightly stewed damson is Food of the Gods. Honestly, it could rival chocolate. It is the thick, syrupy silkiness, and the rich bittersweetness of the skins. I wish there were a more enticing term than ‘stewed’. Swooned? Collapsed? Anyone?
The damson is way ahead of our greengage, ‘Cambridge’, which looks like it will take a couple of weeks to break bud.
When I showed my eldest daughter the next picture, she said “urgh! don’t post that!” but I quite like an ugly bud. This is our walnut, and it has two sorts of buds, pineappley buds, and velveteen buds. I assume the velveteen ones are the leaf-buds, but I can’t remember what the pineappley ones do. I will keep you posted!
This is the lilac now, looking less reptilian, and positively bird-like:
And this is Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ (guelder rose; snowball tree), looking cosy:
Now, a little mystery tree, which I am not expecting you to identify at this stage, but I am hoping someone out there can put a name to it at some point in its future. I just thought these diminutive little buds were worthy of attention:
And I’ll leave you with one of about three star magnolia flowers. This is perhaps the world’s most pathetic Magnolia stellata, but it was planted in a terrible position (under a cotoneaster) and has been bashed at some point so has rather uneven spindly growth. But this flower is lovely. And the calyx is something you need to stroke.
Does anyone know who my soloist is in the Dawn chorus? Or do you recognise those little red buds? Which is your favourite spring blossom? Can you think of a more enticing term for ‘stewed’?