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Spring, or Winter, or Both

Or maybe we should call it “sprinter”?

Anyway, most of the winter has been quite mild, with a few cold spells in between. Lately we have had some nice weather with clear skies, frost, and some gorgeous evening skies.

sunset

Last week I took a look in our garden, and was very surprised when I saw these popping up everywhere:

crocus      I cannot remember the crocuses being so early before, – the sun had not even returned to our house and garden after the winter months when this photo was taken.

When driving to visit family this week, we also came across lots of these beside the road:

tussilagoColtsfoot (Tussilago) is a sure sign of spring.

On returning home in late afternoon, we had time to stop and take some photos as the sun was setting.

fyr2

tree

boatsThere were thin crusts of ice floating about on the surface of this fjord.

A bit later we came across this frozen lake:

hornelen

I went out of the car for a better view. It was our last evening of this spell of cold, nice weather. No wind, and all was quiet….

skating… except for a faint sound of a single pair of steel blades on ice, the occasional booming sound of the ice settling into the colder evening temperatures, and also peals of laughter ringing across the lake from the far shore where a group of people had fun on the ice.

skating2I was just able to glimpse some figures moving over there, – one is sitting on a kicksled, and the others skating along.

Now it is raining again, and the ice is probably gone.

🙂

Eldrid

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Annual Spring Report 2015

May 1st has come and gone, so my annual spring report is overdue, but here it is.

spring15a

I guess there is no such thing as a “normal” spring, but if there were, this would be close, I think. At least this is very close to my memories of what spring used to be.

spring15b

Since we were going away on May 1st, I took these photos in the evening the day before, and nothing had changed much overnight, so I think they count as May 1st photos.

We have had a relatively mild winter with little snow here on the coast (inland dwellers will tell a different story), but the spring has been quite cool, especially April. The leaves on the birch trees have just started to come out, but very slowly.

spring15d

 

spring15e

The daffodils are budding, and a few are in bloom.

spring15g

The exceptions are the ones by the walls facing south, they have been blooming for some time. The crocuses are all finished, unlike the very cold spring 2 years ago, when they were still in full bloom on May 1st.

spring15c

The flowering currant bush is also in full bloom, ….

spring15f

…. but none of the rhododendrons have shown their colour yet, – not even the early ones.

spring15h

The tulips by the wall are ready to bloom, and were opening up when we arrived back home two days later.

spring15i

The rose bush has got some green leaves, but the spirea bush only has a hint of green on it.

spring15j

No leaves on our old rowan tree yet, but it is budding. We still have snow falling now and again.

As we travelled into the fjords on May 1st, we could see that there was still a lot of snow in the mountains, and the greenery varied from quite green to none at all, depending on whether the slopes were facing south or north, and on the altitude. Some high lying farms inland still had their fields covered with snow.

 

 

🙂

Eldrid

Annual Spring Report

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports and compare between the different years.

This year beats all the previous ones in terms of early blooming.

springreport2014t

We have had a very mild winter with next to no snow, and then the last part of April was exceptionally warm, …..

springreport2014b

…….so the woods turned green record early, and everything was suddenly in bloom.

springreport2014a

On May 1st. when these photos were taken, a little bit of winter had returned. Showers of snow are coming down from the north.

In between the showers, the sun comes out, and everything looks like summer again, ……

springreport2014g

…. but it is quite cold when venturing outside.  I love the colour of new leaves when the sun filters through.

springreport2014c

The white wagtail  (motacilla alba)  has returned from Africa, and is busy patrolling our veranda bannister, hopping and flying up and down outside the windows to catch insects hiding between the wall boards.

In between he rests on the telephone line.

springreport2014i

The cherries and plums are in bloom record early. During the warmer days earlier, a few bumble bees were busy visiting the flowers, but there are not a lot of other insects around yet.

 

All the narcissuses have been out for at least a week, and hopefully they will last a bit longer now the weather has turned cold again.

 

Hopefully that will also be the case with the rhododendrons and tulips as well, – some of the latter being nearly finished already.

The strawberry bench is in good shape already, and the blueberries have been blooming for two weeks. I cannot remember seeing blueberries in bloom in April before.

springreport2014v

It is even earlier than the spring of 2011, which was the best one before now, since I started taking photos in 2009.

Spring has been really good this far, so I will not complain about a little cold and snow, even if it is May.

(As long as there is no real frost, that is.)

🙂

Eldrid

Annual Spring Report

It is time for my annual May 1st update on spring.

springreport1

This year spring is very late compared to my previous updates since 2009.

springreport2

It is even later than it was last year.

Not a hint of green in the woods, the daffodils are not blooming, but a few of the earliest ones are sporting large, yellow buds.

springreport5

 

springreport4

Even though there are no green leaves yet, the pussy willows are in bloom.

springreport3

So are the crocuses, and have been for a couple of weeks. However, they got quite beaten down by the hail a couple of days ago.

The winter has been long and cold, and the ground has been frozen until recently.

springreport6

The snow keeps falling still.

🙂

Eldrid

 

Spring Report

Every year I take photos and post a report on the progress of spring on or around May 1st. This year we were travelling on May 1st, so the photos on that exact day shows the spring progress on Iceland, which varied a lot even within quite short distances.

The photo above was taken at Jökulsàrlon, a lagoon created by a retracting glacier. Icebergs break off the glacier and float round and round in the lagoon till they melt, as the opening is too narrow for them to float out into the ocean. They are quite a sight.

A few miles from the iceberg lagoon, we stopped to look at this old church, – the last one to be built in the old Icelandic manner with turf covered walls and roof. The dandelions were blooming on the roof, sheep and lambs were out and about nearby, so this was infinitely more spring like than the icebergs.

This primrose was blooming on one of the turfed walls of the olde houses in the photo below.

And this low bush similar to pussy willows was also in bloom:

I am not sure what the correct name of this bush would be.

As for the home scene, I will have to make do with before and after photos this year.

The two photos above were taken on April 26th before we left.

And here are the after photos of the same views….

… taken on May 6th.

We seem to have moved backwards into winter instead of forward to spring.

Eldrid

Spring Status Report

Last year I posted my first May 1st report on the progress of spring.

Spring was very cold and rainy then, – even snowy, – so there was not much greenery to be seen when May arrived.

This spring seemed to be progressing along the same lines for a while, but the last week’s fine weather has boosted everything big time.

Suddenly the woods were all green almost from one day till the next. My narcissuses in the photo above have all come out during the last two days.

This morning the ones in the shadiest corner had not come out yet.

However, this evening, just after sundown, I took the photo above, and they are nearly all out here as well. With this kind of weather, they will all be finished in a week, I think.

I’ll just have to enjoy them while they last.

The earliest rhododendron bush will soon open up completely.

The tulips by the south wall have been blooming for a few days already. In the photo they look like they are a red and yellow mix due to the direct sunshine, but in reality they are only red.

I love the way the narcissuses brighten up the garden even when it is nearly dark.

So in conclusion, this year spring has behaved itself much better than it did last year, – so far at least. The last week has been excellent, – even better than most of last year’s summer.  🙂

Eldrid

Promises

This time of year there are blogs all over which are filled with crocuses and other lovely signs of coming spring. When we still have snow and cold weather, they make me a little envious.

However, crocuses have finally appeared in our garden too, and each time I walk past and see them, they are a personal promise that spring is on its way, at last.

The photos were taken a few days ago when there was no sun, so they had not opened up yet. Yesterday was a very fine day, however, so when I arrived home in the evening after a trip to visit family, most of them were in full bloom. It was a lovely sight, but sadly, it was too dark by then to get any good pictures.

While I was browsing around the garden taking the photos above, I also came across this collection of shells nested in a hollow in one of the tree stumps left from the trees we chopped down a couple of years ago.

They are the tangible memories of last summer’s visit from the grandkids, and a successful foray on the nearest beach on a fine August day.

The boys enjoyed themselves immensely. . . . .

. . . . collecting lots of small treasures to carry home…..

. . . .  to play with in the sand.

Then some of them ended up on the tree stump as well, where they have spent all winter underneath the snow and frost.

Their lovely blue gradated colours caught my eye;  – they are as decorative as the crocuses, in their own way. . .

. . . and hold as many promises too.

Spring is a lovely time.

Eldrid