We’ve had a long cold winter and it’s raining, misty and downright bleak outside as I write this. But there have been bursts of sunshine here and there and when I can catch those moments I am out with my camera to see what I can find in the trees and the grass. The land is waking up. This video is a compilation of what I’ve seen in the last week, in my own garden and along the boreens around me.
The music is by the incomparable Liam O’Flynn: Joyce’s Tune, from his album The Given Note, used with permission.
Here’s what I saw – all native and all typical of our West Cork flora. Hazel trees produce both male catkins – easy to see – and tiny red female flowers – very difficult to see and easy to overlook, but very pretty little pincushions when you see them.
Willow trees, on the other hand are either female or male and depend on wind and insect to pollinate one from the other. The male trees are the ones who produce the cute little pussy willows, which explode into yellow flower heads as they mature.
I only have a female tree, with its own distinctive catkin-like spiky flowers. Fortunately, as you’ll see in the video, when I was photographing it, it was visited by a Great Tit and a White-tailed Bumble Bee, all helping (along with the breezy weather) with the pollination.
The blackthorn trees are one of our true harbingers of spring – the flowers emerge before the leaves, looking bright and beautiful against the dark bark.
Some Staghorn moss is followed by two Dandelions and then some Lawn Daisies, Dandelions come early in West Cork and don’t last long – they are soon replaced by Cat’s-ear in my lawn. The daisies are a constant delight all summer long.
Another early spring wildflower is Common Dog-violet. This one really rewards getting up close. See my lead photo for this one. Finally, a couple of shots of Herb Robert emerging from a stone wall, followed by photos of Juniper Haircap Moss, which has established a little colony in the crevices of the rocks that line my driveway. The spore capsules sit atop tiny bright red stems. That’s my lead photo for this post, and the shot below.