Friday 25 February 2011

Roadside Beauties

At this time of the year lots of our trees and shrubs are beginning to burst into life after their Winter sleep. Here is a collection of photos I took near the hotel where we stayed last weekend, just by the side of the road. Wild trees, totally untended, but sources of real beauty when inspected closely...

These are the flowers of the Hazel tree, commonly referred to as "Catkins".

These ones are fully open, dispersing yellow pollen all over the place

These ones are only just opening

These are the flowers of the Willow tree. We call them "Pussy Willows".

Is it just me, or does that remind you of a toothbrush?

These are the flowers of the Blackthorn tree, which will eventually produce the fruits called Sloes.

Nearby there was a big patch of what I think were Privet trees, with masses of glossy black berries - inedible, perhaps poisonous, I'm sure  - but looking for all the world like miniature bunches of grapes.

And what about this luridly-coloured lichen? It certainly brightens up the surroundings!

All these photos were taken at the side of a busy public road, not a garden. It's amazing how many nice things there are out there, sometimes in the most unlikely places.


  1. I wonder if our hazels on the plot have any catkins yet? I'm hoping the new cob nut will flower at the same time so I can use a branch from a native species to pollinate it.

    I agree about the toothbrush look-a-like

  2. Mark, I really love this post! There is beauty everywhere...all we need to do is look. Often we look, but really don't see or don't notice things that are beautiful all around us!
    I adore pussywillow, but we don't have it in Florida. One can buy a few sprigs at the market, though, and I do so to welcome in Spring. Pussywillow makes me think of Spring bunnies, for some reason!

  3. Beautiful, as I think you know I love posts about flowers, especially in their natural wild state.

  4. These look like flowers we buy here for Chinese New Year.. If they flower you are supposed to be very lucky!! :)

  5. I am sure all the wildlife will also be very happy to see new greens and buds for spring.

  6. It's a great time of year with everything coming back to life!

  7. I've just been photographing my own hazel's catkins - wonderful aren't they? You're taking some great macros with your camera Mark, and you are right, the wild natives in our hedgerows deserve their moment in the spotlight, they are beautiful, and so varied. Great post!

  8. Nice pics Mark, and nice meeting you :)

  9. I remember loving pussy willow when I was a child, so soft and tactile.


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