Looking at fresh snow on the fell tops now and it’s hard to believe that we had such warm, sunny weather last time I posted – our new ice-cream cart even made its debut.
Spring has definitely arrived though and the signs are there for all to enjoy. Trees are in bud, lambs are gambolling in the fields and wild flowers are adding their flashes of colour to the landscape. Dandelions are especially bold with their displays but they close up if showers are threatening. They remind me of some of the stories we attach to plants, often with good reason but sometimes just echoes of long- forgotten origins.
You can easily find the following on a short walk through Cockshott Wood and along the lake shore.
Primroses – their name derives from the Latin prima rosa (first flower/rose). In folklore these are said to help you to contact the fairy world!
Wood anemone (wind flower) - the Greeks believed the flower was a gift from the wind god Anemos (or Eurus), sent to herald his coming in spring.
Vinca (periwinkles) – these are associated with creating harmony in life.
Gorse (Whin, furze or kissing bush) – gorse has one of the longest flowering seasons which no doubt explains the saying, “When the gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of fashion.”
Hawthorn – the most famous of these is the Thorn of Glastonbury which flowers in May and also in December. Ours are at their best in Spring when they fill the air with their scent.
Those are just a few examples but stories from your area could be quite different. You might find some surprises if you take some photographs on your next walk and follow up with a search on-line for more information.
You could also visit our website at www.ntlakesoutdoors.org.uk if you’d like to find more about Spring wildlife experiences.
P.S. The first swallows have been seen and the first cuckoo heard in Borrowdale.