Spring 2015

Posted: April 18, 2015 by tchannon in weather

A gentle chat about the ordinary.


May blossom, 18th April 2015, hedgerow central southern England, abt 5x life size. Click for larger. Various common names.

My impression is of a late spring for trees, landscape is still bare some places, just the start of greening but normal of low growing plants. Cherry here has been in blossom for a week.

Photographed a little further north Wikipedia has a dated image of May Blossom,


Image (c)2006 Roger Gilbertson

2nd June 2006 “The May Blossom, or Hawthorn, has been particularly striking and long lasting in 2006. No doubt there is a folklore interpretation of what this portends.”

As we know 2006 was the warmest year in the UK and England since phonographs began, some kind of record. This is however misleading, the period from middle 2006 to middle of 2007 was exceptional but only apparent with data analysis which takes time properly into account. Spring 2006 was normal, not exceptional.


From 2005 variability has increased. Year or so 2012 into 2013 of slightly cooler, then elevated 2013 through late 2014, two long diversions. Past few months are back to mean, with no cold snap the past winter even though for some it seemed otherwise. This is for all of England. Data under OGL.


Turned around, on the opposite verge of the country lane, close hugging the ground in brilliant sunshine approaching noon are first Dandelion flowers.


White Deadnettle trying to avoid being smothered. Close by are Stinging Nettles

Dandelion, stinging nettles and dead nettle are edible, used herbally, all common.

Look up and this is the view


No cattle fence, think the field is used for hay.  I expect a prime spot for housebuilding unless someone owns the land specifically to keep an open view. Been a view here 50 years and more, precious.

Cherry blossom? Taken a few days ago as the first blooms opened



Post by Tim

  1. tchannon says:

    I mentioned greater variability since 2005 but forgot to add the rest. About then is when polar sea ice changed to greater annual variability. This suggests a weather regime change.

  2. tom0mason says:

    Very nice pictures of spring’s slow arrival.
    Just one thing though, in the landscape view have you photo-shopped the windmills from the photo?

    Sorry. My error you’ve explained all in the text
    “No cattle fence, think the field is used for hay. I expect a prime spot for housebuilding…” or a large expensive windfarm.

  3. tchannon says:

    No windmills hereabouts *but* we are part of a new energy storage system.

    We have fans dotted around blowing wind recycling the surplus windmill electricity. Neat huh?

    Nearest windmill? There is a real one, Wilton Windmill

    Is one on one of those downs in the distance, been there years, experimental, fortunately not very big.
    Basically we are in the wind shadow of the downs, highest point in southern England is close by.
    This page will do, pretty complete history, highest point is nearby just less than 1,000ft asl,
    Combe Gibbet
    A memorable event up there came with the royal wedding, charles and diana I think. Locals built a massive bonfire in a sheep grazed field, essentially a beacon. Was a pleasant summer night, magic at 2am sitting around a huge fire. Goodness knows how many old treestumps and so on vanished that night.

    Probably helps deeming an AOONB even where it isn’t.

  4. colliemum says:

    It all depends … on where you are, doesn’t it!

    I think a gentle chat about what is growing and what isn’t, is very useful because many different anecdotes int he end become data.

    So – here in South Wales, the white cherry blossoms also have been out for a week, the pink and dark pink ones are only starting.
    Things do seem to be late this year. For example, there are already first leaves out on the horse chestnuts, silver birches, and even some lime trees while the flowers on sycamores, maples and the birch catkins haven’t yet finished: they ought to be over and done with before the leaves unfold.
    The wild violets have been out for about ten days, and are still going on, while the forget-me-nots have also been out for a week: it’s a good year for forget-me-nots!

    One other thing I noticed: the flowers on trees like apple trees in my garden, seem to be over very fast, not even lasting a week.
    Just guessing – but imho the weather might have something to do with that, LOL!

  5. Bill Wagstick says:

    I have already started to slowly distill some ethanol in anticipation of a bumper blackthorn fruiting. And last years demijohns have been cleaned and await sterilisation in anticipation of an equally good elderberry harvest. hic

  6. Ben Vorlich says:

    2nd June 2006 “The May Blossom, or Hawthorn, has been particularly striking and long lasting in 2006. No doubt there is a folklore interpretation of what this portends.”

    That it’s OK to shed a layer of clothing comes to mind.

  7. gregole says:

    Pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for making my day!

  8. tchannon says:

    Ah yes Bill except I don’t believe you. Send evidence. 🙂

  9. ivan says:

    Spring was late here also (south of France near Spanish border). The Mimosa is usually out in the first week of February but this year made a very small attempt in the third week and didn’t get to full flower until the end of the month. The cherries didn’t flower until the middle of March – the time the buds normally start to appear and only about half of the trees in the village have started greening up.

    Oh, and the snow on Canigou has only just started retreating up the mountain.