Friday, 22 March 2013

Comparing the Season

                                 Blowing snow this morning

Friday 22nd March 2013
                   Spring is so late this year compared to the last few years. Last year in the same week  we found  Lesser Celandines, Wood Anemones, Primroses and the first Bluebells, the frog spawn in our garden pond was hatching and the Purple Saxifrage on Pen-y- Ghent was at it's best. Looking through my diaries from previous years  this Spring is about 3 weeks behind.
             So briefly this is what's been happening in our part of the world over the last  few weeks

Spring was on time on the 17th Feb on our Walk around Gargrave in West Yorkshire with this lovely show of Winter Aconites and Snowdrops.

The Snowdrops were at their best up in Litton Dale in the Yorkshire Dales on the 3rd March but were a week behind compared to 2012

Also the ducks were back in my garden pond for the season on the 4th March but were 2 weeks later than the last 2 years. I'm assuming they're the same pair that return every year because they come to the backdoor and look through the glass into the kitchen, in their way they're asking to be fed.

The persistent cold east wind has given us permanent snow cover over the last few weeks, during the day the snowline moves up into the hills only to descend overnight with the freezing temperatures.

The first lambs of the year were out in the fields around Barley near to our home last Sunday17th March with Pendle Hill  dominating the background.

Back in my own back garden the frogs have stopped spawning and the early spring flowers are just about surviving under the constant bashing of the wind and snow

                          Freeze thaw conditions around the pond

                             Frogspawn frozen in the ice

                             Tough conditions for the flowers

Finally this morning I headed out into the teeth of the gale force easterly wind for a brisk walk near to our house, heavy snow had been forecast but here in East Lancashire we're in the shelter of the Pennines so we missed the worst of the blizzard, it was very cold but not unbearable.

                 The dead flower spikes of Common Spotted Orchid

                                The same group in July last year

Abstract sculptures formed by the wind blowing through the dry-stone wall