At last, the blackthorn is in full bloom! One of the sights of spring. This year it’s late, of course, but better late then never.
Blackthorn in all its splendour
I’ve been to take photographs in this spot every year for the last decade or so. It’s become a ritual. Part of my spring.
against the light
Early morning is best. The dew is still on the grass, occasionally still frost. But the sun lights up the bushes and they glow.
The flowers have a delicate scent, again, best experienced on a bright early Sunday morning.
The dog walkers were out in force this morning. Even in some pretty remote fields I was bumping into people frequently. Everybody is so relieved that the weather is finally improving – a chance to get out into the fresh air.
gap in the hedgerow
Even so, hang around too long and the inevitable happens. Mind you, a shower makes for a good photograph!
caught by the storm
You know that winter is truly over when the Blackthorn explodes into blossom:
The hedgerows look amazing, a mass of frothy, bubble white, on the edge of the forest. But quite difficult to photograph, as I discovered last Sunday morning at about 7.30, as the first sun was coming up.
The problem is how to get a distinct picture. Go wide, and all you see is an indistinct white blob. So you need to go close and focus in on the blossom flowers themselves. But then the slightest wind and you get a lot of blur. Not easy.
These flowers are tiny, maybe the size of a 5p piece, no more. So once the camera is on the tripod, the macro lens fully extended, focus and composition decided, then the mere whisper of a breeze and everything’s messed up. Even at the stillest moment of the day I think a ratio of 5 blurred shots to 1 in focus. Gentle rocking back and forth on the tripod.
It may have been quite still, but quiet it was not. The birds were in full voice, cackling, warbling, trilling, flirting with each other. Almost deafening. The forest and the hedgerows are alive and kicking! Spring, at last.