Snowdrops and crocuses are impostors. They are not the true heralds of springtime for that is undoubtedly the role of the trumpeting daffodil. Weatherwise this week has been rather odd so far with stagnant mistiness, sand dust arriving from the Sahara Desert and yesterday a couple of sunny interludes. That's when I got out to snap these daffodil pictures:-
Above, on the easternmost edge of Sheffield - at Handsworth - an embankment parade of jonquils - those miniature daffodils and below I am near the entrance of Bingham Park just off Rustlings Road. - always a stupendous display:-
On Monday the murky mist hung around all day but I needed a walk anyway so I rambled from Lodge Moor down through the woods at Wyming Brook to the Rivelin dams. Here I am at the lower Rivelin reservoir, looking over the water to Fox Holes Lodge:-
And here in the woods, I saw a good example of the parasitic arboreal growth or "gall" commonly known as witches' broom. Initially a fungus enters the tree and stimulates new growth even in the depths of winter. The resulting twiggy eruption will often resemble a large bird's nest or the head of a witch's broom. The fungus is sustained by the unseasonal greenery. The tree - usually a birch - may bear several of these galls which can take years to get to this size:-
That's all I've got to give you today. Now I'll return to page 376 of "Jane Eyre" by Yorkshire lass Charlotte Brontë. The blurb on the modern paperback front cover is a little disconcerting - "Jane Eyre has been turning girls into women for generations". I guess it's a marketing ploy - trying to funnel this nineteenth century classic into the moneymaking hopper that has become known as "Chick Lit". Frankly, in my ever so humble opinion, that is an affront to Charlotte Brontë's memory. Only 214 more pages to go then I'll say more. Bet you can't wait.