Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Still a cold winter

Now well into February, it has been snowing much of the day and promises to do so much of the night.  Phenology aside, most things seem to be delayed by cold - crocuses, hazel catkins, snowdrops etc are not yet in bloom in our area.

The pictures below were taken on 1 February after a hard frost when a dawn snow shower spread writhing plaits of white powder across the hard ground.

20100201 Mtre 2

When there is any amelioration - temperatures up to 5 centigrade or more - there is a scatter of invertebrates.  Winter gnats and midges swarming in the lee of the hedge, the occasional green flash of a leaf-hopper (Empoasca vitis) darting from the cover of the evergreen box.

Midsummer Pond has frozen several times.

20100201 Metre 3

The leaves of heath speedwell (Veronica officinalis) always stand out well after frost.

20100201 Metre 5