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The Tuesday tree: horse chestnut coming into leaf

March 20, 2012

OK, so it’s not quite up to the Beeb’s time-lapse photography in Planet Earth, but here’s a little series of photos following the opening of a horse chestnut’s leaves. I hope that I never get blasé about Spring’s annual miracle.

28th February:

5th March:

13th March:

16th March:

20th March:

Like so many others, I’ve been noticing how early spring has come this year in Scotland, where we never had a really cold snap at all this winter. Conditions over the past season could hardly have been more different from the previous two years, when the exceptionally cold winter of 2009/10 seemed to merge into the exceptionally snowy winter of 2010/11, making spring later than usual, particularly in 2010. Just to show you, here are the buds on this same horse chestnut at the end of the first week of April 2010:

and on 22nd March 2011:

This year, for the first time that I can remember, the horse chestnut is already covered in green leaflets, blowing about in the breeze of the Spring Equinox.

For comparison, you might enjoy Can we pretend it’s Tuesday already? from 2010 and First green of the year from 2011.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2012 8:21 pm

    I have a comparatively modest garden, with no large trees, but my white lilac and tree peony are going mad (near Edinburgh). Hoping there are no frosts to come, as I am quite high up. Your garden and grounds look beautiful 🙂 Jo

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      March 20, 2012 10:47 pm

      White lilac must be one of the most heavenly things in the garden, and a tree peony would come pretty close behind in my book. What delicious flowers to look forward to. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that there are no sharp frosts!

  2. Menatra permalink
    March 21, 2012 2:21 am

    Same is happening here in Canada! Such nice weather, today 26C! I remember last year though that I had to plant my beans 3 times beacause of rain and frosts, such a difference. What a great idea to photograph a plant while it blossoms! I would try it but I know I would take the first two and then forget about it until after it was done.

    • March 21, 2012 6:12 pm

      Goodness, 26C would be HOT in Scotland, not just nice! 🙂 Hope you are enjoying such a warm spring. I wasn’t very scientific about photographing this tree; I just happen to walk past it most days with my camera in my pocket. Sometimes, though, I walk a different way, or forget the camera – hence the erratic dates of these photos!

  3. March 21, 2012 10:52 am

    Wow, DB, you are SO far ahead of us here in Wales! I look forward to encountering all the greenness when we head north at the end of next week. I follow a blogger in Illinois and she’s been having the same kind of high temperatures there, instead of the normal March snow. Weird weather indeed….

    • March 21, 2012 6:16 pm

      Isn’t it strange. I’ve been reading that it’s caused real problems for commercial daffodil growers in Scotland, as their flowers are ready early at the same time that the English ones are ready late, so all the pickers are still down south. It must be because England and Wales got that very cold snap which never reached Scotland. Makes a change from the last two winters, that’s for sure!

  4. hmunro permalink
    March 21, 2012 2:19 pm

    Your photos are lovely, as always — though your report is somewhat alarming, because it seems spring is arriving early everywhere this year (except perhaps in Perpetua’s part of the world … :). I am still hopeful this is just an anomaly, rather than an alarming sign of sweeping climate change. On the bright side, though, it won’t be long before the peonies bloom: At the rate things are sprouting, I expect to see them in about mid-April — a month earlier than usual.

    • March 21, 2012 6:21 pm

      Peonies in April would be unheard of here, but they are welcome at any time, don’t you think? I like almost every variety, but those big, blowsy, old-fashioned pale pink peonies are some of my absolute favourite flowers. We haven’t got any of those here…yet…!

      Hard to imagine that Scotland will get through March without any snow – let alone imagining the same thing in Minnesota! Maybe we’ll regress in April. Hope not, now that all these lovely trees and flowers are blooming.

  5. March 22, 2012 10:55 pm

    Little sculptures in nature.You have such a good eye to catch the magic – before it disappears

    • March 22, 2012 11:58 pm

      Aw, thanks! What a lovely image you choose – yes, they are like little sculptures. As Calvin & Hobbs put it, ‘there’s treasure everywhere’. 🙂


  1. The Tuesday tree: May greenness « Dancing Beastie
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