Here in Ireland, the 1st of February is celebrated as Saint Brigid’s Day and is seen by many, perhaps optimistically, as the first day of spring!
It was great to see the children leave school today clutching their Saint Brigid’s Crosses. We made some more at home.
Rushes are weaved together to form a simple cross. There are a number of different designs. This is the one I have known since I was a school girl.
You can learn more about St Brigid traditions here.
It is always nice when a photograph turns out not as one expected. I like the way the flower emerges from the green below. I wouldn’t expect to find celendine flowering till late February. But here it is already showing it’s yellow head at the end of January.
It is an exceptionally early spring here and flowers are already emerging. And despite the fact that a cold week is forecast, much of the winter has been very mild.
Things are really greening up, though it still only feels like early spring. Wood anemones, Wood sorrel, Cuckoo flower and Daffodils all add splashes of welcome colour. Who needs elaborate shades, when simple whites, yellows and delicate pinks can do the job just as well?
Bumblebee queens are waking up for the spring. Everything is late this year, as it had been a cold spring, so it’s good to see the bees emerging.
You will notice this lady has some passengers. These phoretic mites (Parasitellus) do not harm the bee. They will fall off when she sets up a nest and will act as nest cleaners.
Early Bumblebee queen
Via this week’s photo challenge – Awakening
Wishing everyone a lovely Spring Equinox.
I hope more spring like temperatures will follow. There is the odd bumblebee flying through the garden, but things really need to warm up a bit for them. There is no point planting any seeds outside as night time temperatures are still falling below freezing, though I am trying some salad crop in the greenhouse. Fingers crossed they will grow!
So what is the story?
Well, the frogs are back in our garden pond. They actually first arrived over a week ago. But then the temperatures dropped and we had all that snow and they vanished. But yesterday they returned! I counted 99. Today, they are in such a mating frenzy I cannot count them! Trouble is as soon as you go out to take a photograph most of them disappear under water, so I cannot show you what it really looks like. Luckily, some are braver and not so photo shy – or perhaps they just have their mind on something more import, like producing the next generation!