Frost sparkles on the ground where petals of cherry blossom lie fallen.
From Helsington Church, we see snow cresting the distant fells.
A morning of bright sunlight and tree- flowers: blackthorn, cherry blossom, willow and maple. Bees throng about the hives in the orchard of heritage apple trees.
Veils of hail shimmer through sunlight and white pellets lie on the ground with the white petals of tree- flowers.
Hornbeam come freshly into leaf, clusters of pointed leaves with crisp folds like fans. We stand looking up into the tree, seeking catkins. A tiny boy is searching in the grass and he finds it thick with caterpillars. HIs mother tries to teach him a new word, 'catkins.' But for him they're caterpillars, and why not?
At sunrise next morning, there was a sharp frost and strong light so I spent some while down in The Ghyll photographing hornbeam. I'd tried the day before but now illumination showed the beautiful colours and intricate structure of the male catkins. Green female flowers are lantern-like in structure, and less frequent. Catkins and female flowers come first, then the leaf-buds burst and crinkly pointed leaves appear. At Sizergh, hornbeam catkins show en masse and high in the trees. Here in The Ghyll there are slender twigs at eye-level, so I can show the detail.