Since moving to Uplands I’ve become slightly obsessed with recording what is coming into bud or thrusting into leafy life- albeit only mentally- I never seem to have the right pen , the right notebook to write such important things down. Nature’s changes happen by speedy stealth- I swear, if I was patient enough to stand by and watch I could witness the leaves unfurl and the blossom burst into pastel fireworks before my very eyes.
Recording ‘budburst’ and ‘first leaf’ are the trainspotting activities of the horticultural/ arboreal world. We look forward to it for so long, and imbue it with meaning and optimism for the coming growing, creative season. The first buds form and start to unfurl, and, a couple of warm days later, waxy, translucent leaves of lime green face the (sometimes) blue sky; there is no stopping us now!
The science of recording the timing of natural phenomena relating to the seasons even has a name- an ‘ology, no less; Phenology. (Not Prenology; that’s about measuring the bumps and nobbles on your skull;) Phenology tells us when the first cuckoo was heard, or the first Blackthorn blossom was spotted,back through history. Some records in the UK date back to 1684!
Here’s my own little visual record of the colour and life that is emerging this spring.