encounters with the spirits of the season

For the first time in years, I couldn’t find a snowdrop on the 1st February – I think I tempted fate, the trickster, with my last post.  Instead I found catkins, dancing on the February wind, everywhere I looked.

hazel catkins

hazel catkins

The hazel trees along the waterside in Warrington look as if they have been hung with living flame.


alder catkins







At St Michael’s Station, meanwhile, there is a particularly bright and wakeful alder tree that I pass every evening on my way home from work.  On Thursday night, it called to me as I walked beneath its wind-blown branches; a sprig of catkins had become dislodged.  I caught it, took it home and placed it on our altar.

The encounter with the tree inspired a poem, my first in quite a while – but more about that later…

Finally, this morning, I made time to venture further out into the woods, where I found wild snowdrops already shining bright above the ivy:

snowdrops in Priory Wood

snowdrops in Priory Wood

…and, on the way home, another early flower I often overlook:



The rest of this evening will be spent reading about moss!

One thought on “encounters with the spirits of the season

  1. I’ve also found the dancing catkins to be omnipresent and vibrant this year, golden and tantalising against the bareness wherever I look. Hazel’s never been a tree I’ve really connected with though and this time of year and its winds often have that tricksy feel…

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