March in the Woods

rambling ratz

Photo of woodlandThe wood during March still looks pretty bare and leafless. However, we are now at the beginning of Spring and there are signs of life. Incidentally, the 21st March is the UN designated International Day of Forests.

As the sun rises and the early morning mists evaporate, we see that the leaf litter, moss and decaying wood of the forest floor is still decorated by the scarlet elf cup fungi, see February in the Woods.

The catkins are dangling in the breeze. These are clusters of flowers found on many trees and shrubs, Photo of catkinssuch as hazel, oak, birch, poplar and alder. Usually these are the male flowers and they are mostly wind pollinated, the female flowers are often single flowers, or cones. The word catkin comes from the old Dutch katteken, meaning kitten, as the catkins reminded someone of kittens’ tails. The 8th Century Tang Dynasty, Du Fu…

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