So i,m sitting here in my office suffering from a mild case of cabin fever due to the UK being on lockdown whilst the Coronavirus is raging through the country, in fact the world, and I,ve been looking through some of the multitude of pictures I’ve taken on my phone over the past couple of weeks whilst out walking the dogs. I have to admit that my iPhone does take an exceptionally good picture for just a phone and it also has a very good editing suite on it too. I,m not really one for editing my photos but i,m learning more with each picture i take, i only edit to help enhance the picture quality and rely more on the natural light and good composition than anything else. One of my favourite things to take a photo of is fresh young shoots, buds and flowers of our various fauna as it wakes from its winter sleep when the temperature starts to rise and the sun finally starts to warm everything. I have quite a few pictures so i,m going to post up a few of my favourites here to hopefully put a little smile on your faces thinking of the warmer days to come.
The above images are from different Hawthorn bushes in different locations and show how they can vary considerably.
The first 2 bushes are from alongside a local estuarine river, you can just see the water in the back of one of the pictures, and these bushes are quite short and fairly spindly, my guess being that they are only small because of the harsh conditions along the river. They produce quite a few crisp white flowers though and have exceptionally long and pointed spikes hiding among the blossom.
The third and fifth pictures are of the same bush, or rather tree, and are from a large country park near me. The tree they are on is pretty large and is covered in these beautiful white flowers and there’s a good few other similar trees in the park. These flowers have a slight yellowish hue to them when you look closely.
The fourth picture is of a large bush version of Hawthorn which is located in the same country park but is only half the size of the previous and has more flowers on it. If you look closely the blossoms have a slight pink tinge to them, similar to a ornamental cherry which i thought it might be before searching on the internet.
All three of these may be different ‘Thorn’ species but after searching the web they all look to be Hawthorn. There is also a Whitethorn bush as well as a Blackthorn bush which flowers later than the Haw and it is this bush that gives us the sloe berry, much sort after for infusing in gin and vodka, something i am planning on doing later on in the year.
Once pollinated the flowers turn into bright red berries known as ‘Haws’. The young leaves, flower buds and young flowers are all edible and can be added to salads where as the haws can be eaten raw, but may cause mild stomach upset, but are usually cooked and made into jellies and sauces.
I hope this little bit of information about the Hawthorn was of interest to you while we are all locked away indoors while this virus runs its course across the country.
Stay safe out there……..