Friday, 18 December 2009

No snow here ... and violets in flower

There are times, particularly when it's raining almost incessantly, that I envy those living in the east of this country with their much drier climate. However at the moment it's definitely a case of "west is best" for those needing to get about: whereas the south east is suffering heavy snow there isn't a flake in sight in the Tamar Valley. In fact we have had some brilliant sunshine with crystal clear visibility albeit that it has been bitterly cold.

Yesterday I had a brisk walk a short way down the river. Almost opposite the weir there are some patches of violets - it is a favoured spot and I normally expect to see the odd one in flower before Christmas. In fact two were visible with a bit of searching but a friend had seen them some time previously I was to subsequently learn! A little while ago winter heliotrope in flower was in evidence near the railway station: not a pretty flower in my opinion and an alien swamping any other vegetation in its vicinity but with flowers in generally short supply perhaps I shouldn't begrudge its presence!

Another import and a species much more amenable to me is the mimosa. I have written about these shrubs before and I love their smooth trunks, feathery leaves and bright yellow flowers. One or two hereabouts were totally devastated by last winter's weather. Another one though, in a courtyard in Tavistock was nipped by the frosts at that time but wasn't a total loss fortunately and a few weeks ago appeared to be in good health. I just hope that this cold spell doesn't persist and that once again we see it in flower.

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