Yesterday, a raven rode the thermals by Scout Scar escarpment, legs reaching-out for touch-down as the wind swept the bird up and away.
This morning is so calm we feel and hear our feet crunch through frost sparkling the grass and enhancing the intricate veins of winter leaves. Senses are heightened on such a day.
Willow catkins, 'pussies', are beloved of children. The soft white male catkin resembles a cat's paw. I delight in the beauty of this willow, its catkins gleaming against a foil of intense blue on a winter's day in January. There are some 400 species of willow, and hydbrids too. Willow is dioecious, with male and female flowers occurring on different trees. Each species has its discrete flowers. So, for today, beauty is enough. I'll go back to watch this willow through spring and to note the bark, the habit of the tree, to see its leaf buds open.
A couple of days later I found a hazel with long male catkins, the flowers closed-tight in hibernation. On the same stems there were a few red female flowers, fully open. Synchronicity seemed out of sync here- to pollinate the female flowers the male catkins would need to be shedding pollen.