Lamb’s Tails (Part two) and Lady Bits

1Well, that last post was a lot of kerfuffle just to get us round to the important subject of lamb’s tails. Or more correctly the flowers of the Hazel tree. The male catkins are very nice and appear before any other sign that spring might be on it’s way.

2It is good to see them dangling in the hedgerow when there really isn’t much else to look at and it is still cold out.

3.1But when I see the Hazel catkins I am really waiting for something else. For me the absolute exquisite beauty of the Hazel lies in the female flowers. Every year I photograph them and then when they are gone I wish that I had spent more time with them and taken more pictures.

4It is a long wait. The female flowers don’t appear until the male catkins are almost spent. I have read that there is a good reason for that. The Hazel tree has both male and female flowers and to avoid self pollination the female flowers wait until the tree’s own male catkins have spent their pollen.

I have tested this theory on a tree with plenty of female flowers and a little flick of the finger tells me that the catkins are still full of pollen.

5Here are some of my best picture from this year and next year I will do better. The flowers are very small and many people don’t even know that they are there, they are so busy admiring the catkins that they miss the real beauty.

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That is one of my favourite wild flowers. It is very difficult for me to photograph it on the tree though. Next year I will do better.

Coming soon… Nuts!

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