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A Change in Seasons

It now feels like the transition between winter and spring has taken place, for me it is never as easy as a date in the calendar that tells me when the seasons change, I let nature do that for me.

Some years it comes early, some years later but there is always I day where I get a feeling that things have changed. For me in 2022, it was photographing the last of the flowering Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus - below) in the 2nd week of March, a species I always associate as a late winter species near to me. The plant below was one of only a few left that were still mainly flowers, many others nearby already had seeds forming - a sign of spring.

In NE Wales it is not a common plant but there are a few places to seek it out, Marford Quarry near Wrexham being an easy place to find it. Whilst photographing this very pretty flower the sound of Chiffchaff singing echoed and a glimpse of a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly in the beautiful sunlight got me excited for the new season.

Another sign of the passing season for me, Ochre Cushion (Hypocrea pulvinata), a fungus which only grows on the underside of another fungus, Birch Polypore. This latter fungus is a winter specialist so the fact it is now rotting away with the help of the Ochre Cushion again reaffirmed my feeling that spring has sprung.

With a spring in my step and with the feeling that 2022 could be a really good year for plants from a personal point of view I decided to get my 2022 'hit list' of plants made up, which will help me explore North Wales from the coast to the mountains in search of its wonderful flora. I will of course keep you updated with my adventures on here as the year progresses.


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