Something we have realised just recently is that over the last year we seem to have seen a lot more wildflowers - during the first lockdown last year of course areas that would usually be mown regularly were left to grow meaning things like the Speedwell in the lawn outside suddenly made its presence felt far more than usual.
This time of year is always beautiful with the vibrant green of spring appearing everywhere - the willows in particular are looking wonderful just now, giving an almost lime-green tinge to great areas of the countryside.
Everywhere you look too, buds are breaking. The Blackthorn near here having been a riot of frothy white blossom just a week or so ago is now dropping the petals in great drifts, while all the tree’s energy seems to suddenly be going to producing leaves instead - and incredible metamorphosis!
We saw the first bluebells of the year at the weekend - native ones too rather than the pervasive Spanish invaders. It always feels like spring has properly arrived when the bluebells appear - although the sub-zero temperatures overnight and the snow flurries we’ve had do seem to suggest otherwise! The Hebrides had quite a sprinkling of snow this morning and while it didn’t last long I gather it did leave the landscape looking more winter than springlike!
One plant that seems to have thoroughly taken off around here over the past few years are these beautiful little violets - always seen occasionally, there are now great carpets of them on many of our road verges, in every colour from a deep, rich purple right through varying degrees of paleness to pure white.
Are there actually more wildflowers this year than usual or are we just seeing them more because we’re looking for the bright cheerful signs of optimism - confirmation that the changing seasons might hopefully bring a bit more of a return to normal? I’m sure someone knows the answer - I just hope that in future years we remember to notice them just as much!