Beside the rivers of Cumbria grow alder trees. You can track the course of the River Kent (when the river is hidden) if you follow the fringe of alders along its banks. And here beside the River Duddon the thick purple catkins open yellow in the spring sunshine. Spring comes later at altitude, climb higher in the fells and you'll find alder catkins in tight purple bud when they're open and flowering as the rivers approach the sea.
When leaf buds are closed tight, willow catkins show in a burst of gold, an aura of gold as you drive by. From childhood, I've delighted in willow catkins- the pussywillow we all love. But spending a morningr at a JK orienteering event, not orienteering but studying catkins with a camera, I see them as never before. Caught in the act of bursting into flower. Reproduction: catkins opening up and seeking pollinators. Male and female catkins on separate trees. In M&S they're selling bunches of silver-grey catkins but my pictures tell what it's all about and it's reproduction.
In taking these images I wanted to use a blue sky to highlight those wonderful alder catkins. Beneath the trees, the spring flowers burst forth seeking the light whilst the canopy is open. I hoped to catch the translucence of delicate windflower petals. The petals of lesser celandine are glossy, the flower is a sunburst and reflects the light.