Winter loveliness and signs of Spring…

After a few days of the kind of weather that, if it persists, makes winter here dreary. A few images taken during the dreariness that show the beauty that is still there if I open my eyes to it!

Huelgoat forest. The Mare aux Sangliers after the rain… Late December.Lichens from a fallen branch of oak after the wind… One day I’ll get to grips with their identification.

A Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger) flower in the garden. Freshly opened and almost pristine, after the rain which had spoiled the others.

Chinese Witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis, ‘Pallida’) flowering now. Little slivers of yellow, crinkly crepe paper petals with a delicious, if sometimes elusive perfume.

An an unexpected, very early surprise… Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’. Why this one flower now when all the others are only just showing above ground? I have no idea. But how beautiful and how welcome!

All of these, plus the emerging Crocus, Narcissus and,   – I kid you not – Tulips(!) and more daylight. I know there’ll be bleak days ahead, but Spring is just around the corner. Time to start looking at the seed catalogues.

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