Saturday, March 21st 2015

The sunny weather has not continued and today there was a bitterly cold wind and only hints of sunshine. However the cycle of the seasons continues, although slowly.  Some of the Larch trees along the Sycamore Avenue have just burst their buds and the soft green needles are showing.  Others in the same area are still brown.

Bursting buds of Larch

Out on the exposed moor, in the ancient hedgeline, Bird Cherry is most certainly in leaf.  Although this photograph is not very close and has barbed wire in the background, you can clearly see all the leaves just waiting to unfurl.

Bird Cherry in leaf just

Another Bird Cherry near to the Grand Fir is not as far on as the one in the open.

Bird Cherry buds

Alder trees along Risedale Beck are still tight in their purple buds.

Purple Alder buds

On the wetland one small tree has opened its bud to reveal the green leaves beneath.

Opened Alder bud

The obvious reasons for differences in the development of the buds does not seem to fit the ones mentioned above as the more exposed trees are further in leaf than those in more sheltered situations.  However the Blackthorn along Risedale Beck, which is more sheltered but does not have as much sun yet, has flower buds more developed than those on the Blackthorn Avenue.  Nature is amazing and always sets questions which are not easy to answer, but the discussions are interesting and fun, although probably not conclusive!

From bursting buds to open flowers.  Gorse is showing dark golden yellow flowers in many areas of the reserve.


Primroses are appearing in their usual haunts and their pale lemon yellow flowers make a change to the dull browns of the dead grasses.


Coltsfoot is one flower we look for early in the year and usually fail to find it.  This year it is flowering in many places.  The photograph shows one flower in bud but others, almost like a nest of eggs waiting to hatch.

Buds of Coltsfoot flowers

Coltsfoot is in flower before the leaves which are shaped like a colt's foot, hence its name.  Some information says that the leaf can be eaten by the Cinnabar moth if the Ragwort is eaten, as it contains the same poisonous alkaloids as Ragwort.  Another point for lively discussion as we think that the Coltsfoot leaves are over by the time the moths have eaten all the Ragwort.  A check will be kept on both plants!


Night temperatures have been very low over the last few weeks so the moth trap has not been set.  Nor have there been any moths on the Field Centre.  This morning there were three, Oak Beauty, Early Grey and this Yellow Horned moth.

Yellow Horned Moth

(1) Comments:

Tony Whiteley responded on 23rd Mar 2015 with...

Picture of Tony Whiteley

A brilliant blog! I came with a class of school children a few years ago and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring such a wonderful site.  I’m really enjoying reading about the developments as the seasons change!


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