Just Blossom & Magnolia.

Not much else to say really ….

other than it it believed that the first flower, which existed 140 million years ago, resembled a Magnolia https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/revealed-the-first-flower-140-million-years-old-looked-like-a-magnolia/ and that they were therefore in existence before bees!

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The Fibonacci sequence in nature

When I saw this plant, ‘Fibonacci sequence’ popped into my head. I have heard of the term ‘Fibonacci sequence in nature,’ but know little about it. So I did some investigating. The Fibonacci sequence starts like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on forever. Each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. 

It appears throughout nature from the design of shells, to the way tree branches grow out of trees, to the development of leaf veins, the pattern of seedheads, the positioning of flower petals (think roses), even the shape of tropical storms. It has been described as “the code of nature’ and runs through the cosmos – even appearing in spiral galaxies. Isn’t nature clever?

 

Re-visiting the Beast from the East

Just over a year ago, we had a ‘polar vortex,’ which resulted in some severe weather conditions for the U.K. (- we love talking about the weather don’t we?). We experienced temperatures of -11 celsius, not including wind chill factors. We had heavy snowfalls, blizzards and snowdrifts. A total contrast to the balmy conditions of 21 celsius we experienced a couple of weeks ago. What IS happening to our weather???

Recently, I came across a picture of an icicle that someone had posted on WP. I remembered the one I had taken during last year’s extreme cold spell with my macro lens; if you click on the picture below on a large screen and enlarge it, you can actually see melted snowflakes within it. 

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Trapped air bubbles within the icicle.

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My best attempt at trying to capture a snowflake, I was really hoping it would snow again this year, so I could practice it again! I love the star bit in the middle! 

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It was so cold for a few days, that all kinds of birds suddenly appeared in our garden and came very close to the house that you wouldn’t usually see, in search of food. This was a migratory Fieldfare.

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This blackbird came so close, it was almost feeding out of my hand.

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On a walk in a nearby country lane, several birds took shelter on the lee side of the hedge. They had scraped away the top soil (I suppose looking for food) and had made little holes. They made little attempt to fly off, like they normally would.

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A carpet of snowdrops …

One week later and the snowdrops were out in force! Galanthus nivalis is one species which self-seeds and spreads quickly. Bees use snowdrops for nectar, when not many other plants are flowering.

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Winter flowers

It was great to see the RHS garden coming to life last weekend. Not only were there snowdrops, but also daffodils, miniature cyclamen, winter aconite and dwarf crested iris. 

I managed to get a macro shot of a winter blooming camellia.fullsizeoutput_114

A red witch hazel.fullsizeoutput_117

Then there was this very strange one – Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Grandiflora.’ An unusual looking flower, which is generally pest and disease free – according to the RHS. It originates from the Himalayas and was introduced in the 1850’s. It is tricky to cultivate, but produces fragrant blooms if successful.fullsizeoutput_10e

Finally – my abstract version of the red witch hazel.fullsizeoutput_10b

 

Snowdrops

They’re here!!!!

The botanical name for snowdrops is ‘Galanthus.’ The name is thought to come from the Greek word ‘gala’ meaning milk – like the colour of the plant. There are 2500 varieties of snowdrop.

According to folklore, snowdrops should not be brought into the home because it may signify impending death.

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