Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Blackthorn’s Starry Flowers Precede the Bluebell Spectacle

The bluebell meadows in Newton Wood are on the verge of bursting forth in a hue of cerulean blue. However, it is not their time quite yet. The initial shoots can be seen, but presently it is the blackthorn that commands the spotlight of spring.

Masses of blossom, soft and disordered, the twisted thorny shrubs are adorned with countless white stars, with their vibrant yellow stamens. It will be some time before the blackthorn considers sprouting leaves. The fresh foliage behind belongs to the Hawthorn, also known as May, which will bloom in the month of that name.

On this fresh April day, one might imagine the old crone frequently linked with blackthorn, engaged in the activities of the season. Historically, blackthorn was regarded with suspicion, often associated with the more malevolent aspects of witchcraft – serving as the wood for witches’ wands and shillelaghs, its formidable thorns, the implements of hexes and diabolical pacts.



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One response to “Blackthorn’s Starry Flowers Precede the Bluebell Spectacle”

  1. John Richardson avatar

    A lovely post, I love to see the arrival of blackthorn and the chance to assess the coming crop of Sloes in the Autumn. My Uncle, who farmed in Bilsdale was always wary of a short and sudden spell of snow in April, he called it a ‘Blackthorn Winter’. Funny how these phrases stay with you. ATB, John

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