A short walk in the young woodland at the back of the house revealed some surprising sights today. We stopped to admire a silver birch, which had some beautiful colouring on its bark, when Colin noticed it had been gnawed by deer. These are roe deer – we’ve caught glimpses of them a couple of times on previous walks. There was a circle trodden in the soil at the base of the tree, where the animal had walked around it.
We were amazed to find a hawthorn bush with many green leaves almost half out. These were a welcome sight, but surely they’re going to get nipped in the bud, especially with heavy snowfall predicted for tomorrow. We also noticed some catkins on a hazel tree, and the tips of young shoots were visible on the ends of the twigs. I felt almost as if we’d had a very long sleep and spring had arrived!
It’s all a bit too early, I fear… but time will tell, and time will also re-set their natural clock even if these trees are over-eager. I can’t really blame them, because I too am desperate for the spring to arrive.
Talking of hazel catkins, I have been working hard on some new features for The Hazel Tree over the last few days. After a three-month ‘rest’ (when does work qualify as a rest?) it’s good to start refreshing it again. Perhaps spring really is on the way!