Signs of Spring

There are still a few weeks until the Vernal (Spring) Equinox on 20 March (meterological Spring starts on 1 March) but already I’m noticing signs of Spring when I’m out with the dog.  I’m trying not to think that the Winter is over already because we all know that the weather ignores the seasons and does what it pleases, and it’s entirely likely there’ll be snow in March (it happened last year!), but it is lovely to see the flowers appearing.

At Culcheth Linear Park, there are crocuses in various shades of purple.

These always make me think of the Crocus Fairies from Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies paintings – I remember being out somewhere as a child and I chose a keyring with a picture of the Crocus Fairies on it from a shop.  I’ve no idea what happened to it (or where I would have been to choose it), but here’s the picture …

No prizes for guessing why I chose this one!  I did like the poem that went with it too …

Crocus of yellow, new and gay;

Mauve and purple, in brave array;

Crocus white

Like a cup of light, –

Hundreds of them are smiling up,

Each with a flame in its shining cup,

By the touch of the warm and welcome sun

Opened suddenly.  Spring’s begun!

Dance then, fairies, for joy, and sing

The song of the coming again of Spring.

The Flower Fairies pictures are beautifully painted, and each one has a little poem to go with it – I don’t think I’d realised there were quite so many of them until I went to look for the link to add to this post, and I’ve had a lovely time reading them all.

There are still snowdrops in bloom; these are in the Linear Park.  I love that they’re still in clumps despite dogs that never look where they’re putting their feet rampaging around.  I’m really pleased that they’ve not been picked, either; on the odd occasion I’ve knocked one in the garden and snapped the stem, they’ve never lasted once they’re in the house even in water so it would be a shame for someone to take them.

The daffodils are on their way …

It’s been such a muddy winter at the Linear Park with all the groundworks going on to clear out the drainage ditches that seeing the flowers makes you remember that it doesn’t always look like that!

I called into the farm shop on the way home and look!  Cherries!  They really are very early and definitely not seasonal so they’ve travelled a long way to get to a farm shop in Winwick.  I love cherries and I couldn’t wait till I got home – I was delving into the paper bag even as I was turning out of the shop driveway!  Some were very sweet but others were just about all right; I’ll probably leave it for a while before buying any more but they were a nice treat!

This morning, the dog and I were at Sankey Valley.  I realised shortly after leaving my hat and mitts in the car that it was a mistake and it was much colder than it looked.  The sun did look lovely through the grasses and sparkling on the Brook, though!

And then turning down another path, here was my reminder that it really is still Winter and I should not have left my hat and mitts in the car!  Oh well, it was too late to turn back at this point so I tucked my hands up into my sleeves, zipped my coat up around my ears and walked faster.

Winter mornings are great times for walking.  I couldn’t work out what was different about this path at first – we come along here a few times a week – and then I realised that the landscapers had been in and all the trees and bushes along the canalside had gone.  What a big expanse it is now!  It’s also more likely that the dog will take a leap into the canal as there’s nothing to stop him and he has no sense at times, but luckily he stayed on the path today.

In sock news, the pink socks are finished and are ready for their new home.  They do look smart, don’t they?  I wouldn’t have thought of putting those colours together (mostly because I like stripes!), but they look really good.  They’re made in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Sarsparilla with Dusty Miller as the contrast.

Thanks for all your comments about my last Winwick Mum yarn post – I’m never sure whether it’s just me that’s fascinated by the behind-the-scenes workings but from all of your comments here and on social media, it seems that it isn’t!  I love to know where things have come from and how things work – I am an engineer’s daughter, after all 😀 – and now that I know you’re interested as well then I’ll keep on telling you what I find out!

It’s going to be a busy weekend for me – I’m off to the Stitches trade show on Sunday as it’s the official launch of the Winwick Mum Collection yarn.  I’ll be on the West Yorkshire Spinners stand trying not to be too giddy so do come and say hello if you’re going to be there!  Although, having seen my badge to get in, there’s no guarantee that I won’t be too giddy – you have been warned! 😀

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9 Responses

  1. Unknown says:

    I loved this blog and particularly the beautiful photography of spring treasures. Spare a thought for us here in Tasmania, everything burnt to a crisp through lack of rain, 200K+ hectares of fires (now mostly under control) and to top it all we had snow the other day. Summers is not yet officially over yet! No rain on the horizon here, while huge areas of the big island are awash. As we are fond of saying here "The world has gone made Matilda". Best of luck with your new venture – your yarn looks wonderful.
    All the very best to you and yours

    • Denise says:

      I'm in northern Victoria, and as we drove home from a visit to Melbourne this morning, we watched sheep walking through paddocks with little dust storms blowing up around each one. So dry and so hot this Summer. I've been watching your fires as we battle our own (I'm a volunteer firefighter). All the best to you.

  2. Susan Rayner says:

    Wow – your badge!! What a lovely title! The photos are lovely! Spring seems just around the corner here in Surrey too and we are trying to forget that the coldest bits could easily still come along! The Beast from the East was next weekend last year – we were struggling back from Cornwall and were lucky not to get stuck (people an hour behind us were stuck on the A30 for 12 hours) – and as we are visiting my mother again next week we are praying for more clement weather for the journey home!

  3. happy hooker says:

    Woo-hoo – Designer! Bet you never thought in your wildest dreams, but there it is, in black and white, so it must be true. No wonder you're feeling giddy. Well deserved. Hope you have a great weekend. Don't forget to tell us all about it – please.
    Spring is coming, slowly, slowly. As you say, it can still be a bit nippy, even though the sun's shining. Although it's a good excuse to wrap up in something woolly and hand-knitted. xxx

  4. Mandy says:

    Flower Fairies!! What a memory. The only school prize I ever won. I was given a book token for winning "Good Progress" at the age of 9 and brought Flower Fairies of Spring with it. Still got it 54 years later.

  5. Julie says:

    I hope you've had a great time at the exhibition and met lots of lovely people buying your new special wool.
    I really enjoyed reading about the WYS mill.

  6. Irene says:

    These flower poems are simply lovely. Maybe favourite spring poem is a poem by Wordsworth about looking into the sky and daffodils all around him. It reminds me so very much of the North of England and spring time in Aberdeen. Happy springet from North Germany! Snowdrops and crocuses are out here too!

  7. Lydia says:

    Sock colours are lovely – due to have an op this Saturday and then I have to rest for 4-6 weeks, which I initially groaned at but have been gradually building up the sockwool ( that the moth didn't eat) so will spend many an hour between socks and cardi's for my 5 month old granddaughter.

  8. happyneedles says:

    Love you socks, envy spring .. today we have a winter storm moving in, sleet, freezing rain, lots of snow. Please enjoy your flowers and lovely photos … I'm drooling. So enjoy all you share.

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