Splash or soak?

Easter Monday could have been spent looking for migrant birds, spotting some spring butterflies or going to the races at Huntingdon – or all three.  But the heavy rain made each an unappealing prospect.

The rain fell against the window behind my back as I sat at the computer deleting emails, unfollowing people on Twitter, emailing my accountant and being distracted by the real-time data from Google analytics which let me see how many people are reading this blog and where in the world they are based.

The splash of raindrops and the soaking garden outside made me think of the old saying about tree leafing and summer weather.  Do you know it? ‘Ash before oak and we’ll have a soak; oak before ash and we’ll have a splash‘.

I can’t be that sure but it seems to me that tree leafing is late all round this year – the woods are still pretty bare.  It looks to me as though the ash is a little ahead of the oak but maybe I’m wrong.  With generally warmer springs, ‘thanks’ to global warming, the oak seems to have a consistent advantage in the leafing stakes race.  My perception is that this year was a cold spring, but my perception may have been shaped by working at home for the first time rather than in an office heated by somebody else’s money and the central heating being on the blink during some very cold parts of February!

Brrr!  Bring on the cuckoos, swifts, orchids and fritillaries of summer!


1 Reply to “Splash or soak?”

  1. Well as far as wild flowers are concerned they’ve been pretty early. My first Lesser Celandine was 31st December – Gilbert White had it at the beginning of February on average. Red Campion never stopped flowering all winter near home. Cuckoo Flower was out over a week ago – well ahead of the bird by the same name’s return and Bluebells are already pretty much carpeting ancient woodlands in Worcestershire. In fact Wood Anenome have been in flower with Bluebells – never seen that before, but then it’s a funny climate we’re living with at present…

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