The Chinese New Year has just started: the year of the sheep. That’s an excuse to show off some of our Warwickshire lambs along with blackthorn flowering. Blackthorn is usually the first shrub to flower in Spring (my records show it first appearing in February most years, the earliest date being 10 Feb in 2005 near Guy’s Cliffe). Blackthorn blossom is followed in the autumn by sloe berries, which are traditionally used to flavour gin. So, a Happy New Chinese Year to all our readers!
Other early signs of Spring
Spring arrives earlier and earlier nowadays – probably due to global warming. I regularly see pale yellow hazel catkins fully out in late December en route to north Wales, and locally they were coming out at Ryton Pool on January 2nd this year (2015). The first bright green hawthorn leaves sometimes appear in February, and in 2004 I saw them on 7th February on the A46 bypass of Warwick!
Do tell us about your first signs of Spring (sights or sounds)