Ilkeston - In Search Of Spring
w/e 26 March 2006
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
During the week that contained the first day of spring,
the ongoing cold spell continued to delay the onset of the usual
abundance of the seasonal flowers. It was reported that this
was the coldest March in the East Midlands for twenty years but
nevertheless, this weekend the clocks in the UK went forward
one hour to British Summer Time. There were however a couple
of bright and milder days and I took a short circular walk along
both sides of the Erewash Canal close to home in search of the
elusive spring. Here's what I found.
Most of the trees and hedgerows were still wearing their winter
garb but on the east side of the canal I spotted this Pussy Willow.
Here's an interesting fact - all willows provide a compound called
'salicin'. This is very similar to the active ingredient in most
over-the-counter painkillers. Native North Americans are known
to have extracted it from the bark and roots for use as a medication.
I was just happy to photograph it!
A little further along the towpath I noticed another tree where
leaf formation was in the very early stages.
From the western side of the canal, I could see evergreens and
other trees still awaiting warmer weather, reflecting in the
still water. Together with the grass and leaves on the near side
they created an almost totally green scene but there was just
a hint of yellow as the daffodils readied themselves to burst
And then a splash of colour where a few crocuses had opened beneath
the shelter of a tree. I'm not sure whether the swans were looking
for a nesting site or were just hoping I had some food for them.
But if it's crocuses you want, one of the best places in town
to see them at the moment is in Victoria Park along the edge
of Bristol Road. The beds have not yet revealed their true glory
but the colours are still a joy to behold on a dull and cold
day and they look even better when the sun shines on them.
The rest of the
park is still a little drab at the moment but looking over the
crocuses from the edge of the park, Council workmen could be
seen busily clearing the flower beds and planting sapling trees
as preparations for the new season's displays got underway. Yes
spring may be a little late this year but if you care to look,
you'll see that the signs are there. My search for spring was
successful after all.
LATE UPDATE: Sunday afternoon - a warmer weekend and the daffodils
are starting to bloom everywhere!