Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A little sun goes a long way

Another glorious spring day here in the Touraine. The sky is clear blue and the sunshine is beginning to shed some warmth.

All of this has an immediate effect on the plants and trees. It is almost as if they are all throwing off their overcoats, having a good stretch and saying to the sun--  'took you long enough! Now we can get on with the business of growing'.

one of our clumps of daffs
wild plum
Yesterday it was 17 on our outside thermometer which hangs by the kitchen door on the north side. Today it is at 15. It means it is warm enough that we can easily sit outside with our coffee [and a book...] on the south side of the house. 

The result of the sunny weather on our patch means that most of the daffs are out, the snowdrops have gone over completely, the larch is starting to flower as are the cowslips and we have a flowering wild plum tree [if we're wrong corrections please] which is absolutely humming as it is full of very happy honey bees and the odd bumble. 

happy bee
We have also seen other signs of spring. Yesterday in the late twilight a bat flitted to and fro over our drive. Last summer we had one using our barn as a summer roost so perhaps it has returned. We've also discovered some orchids although we'll have to wait until May to find out what kind they are. We sent Susan from Days on the Claise a photo of the leaves and she thinks they might a pyramidal or green winged species but at this point it is hard to say. We'll let you know in May.
mystery orchid

Larch tree flower

Larch flowers and buds
Cowslips coming into flower


GaynorB said...

At last!
Things have brightened up in the UK too. Lovely days but still frosty at night.
I've never noticed larch flowers and buds before. I'll look forward to the orchid identification.

Susan said...

I wonder if your plum is a blackthorn? It's rather early for a plum to be flowering. I can't see any thorns, but you often can't in photos.

I've had second thoughts about the 'orchid', after having seen something very similar at T&Ps. I think it's going to turn out to be a lily of some sort - bluebell maybe. IDing from photos has its risks.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan; no, no thorns. Bark a little like a cherry or plum. We reckon it is a (wild) cherry plum; they can flower as early as late February.

As for our mystery "orchid" it will be fun to see what it turns out to be :-)