Friday, 18 January 2008

Signs of Spring on the way

Yesterday morning there was a brief respite from the perpetual dampness that seems to afflict the Tamar Valley at this time of year. Needing a variety of vegetables and some free range eggs I went walkabout to a roadside stall just short of Calstock. This easy stroll of about 4 miles in total is off the main road; one sees the occasional vehicle but not enough traffic to spoil things. Apart from the benefit of exercise and fresh air it was a good chance to see what signs there were of the local flora coming into flower.

There were a few celandines out although not the first of the year by any means, they seem to be plentiful in this area but it wont be till next month that we will see carpets of them I guess. One or two examples of red campion, herb robert and hogweed were on display but what I particularly wanted to note was the progress of the crocuses in Calstock's churchyard which I pass en route. A small number of them were just starting to show yellow, when they all come out it is quite something to see. Just outside the south wall of the churchyard is an early spot for violets, some of these were in flower but I had seen these on an earlier walk.

The Tamar Valley was justifiably famous for its daffodils but many of the fields on their steep slopes are now abandoned. Although this land has reverted to scrub and woodland the daffodils pop up each spring. Too early for the varieties here to be in flower but certainly there are many bulbs above ground now. Providing we avoid a long cold snap then come March we should see those wonderful sheets of gold that makes this area even more special.

Every season can offer something but it's the renewal of life in spring that I think gives something extra to that time of year.

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