14th April 2013
As the temperatures soared yesterday after the longest coldest winter stint we have had here in years, the little magnolia stellata which had formed its flower buds last autumn sometime, started to unfurl its pretty blossoms by the back door.
I imagine a wave of blossom spreading across our country this week and there is nothing quite like the boost it gives to our senses.
From the lurid yellow of forsythia tumbling over every other front fence, to swathes of daffodils, primroses and celandine, starry wood anenomes, cherries and plums, blackthorn and horse chestnuts with their soft new leaves and pink and white flowers – I am so excited – I don’t want to miss any of it!
I’m so happy it’s warming up! So happy. It was getting a little boring. Nice to see a bit of rain too.
Absolutely, It makes you feel so much more relaxed when it warms up.
I had an anxious moment yesterday when I saw white flakes floating past the kitchen window. Great relief to realise they were petals blown from the neighbour’s tree!
That wind will have the blossom flying – I hope it calms down.
finally we can believe that spring is o its way
I hope it doesn’t get cold again, goldfinches this morning on the feeder and we saw swallows at dusk going over.
I am finally hopeful that spring has arrived. I even have all the windows open to blow out the dust from construction and blow in spring pollen … oh. (haaachooo)
Don’t say the pollen word shhhhh…. B just cut the grass and the blackbird is out there exploring for worms.
I love magnolia trees and that image is so beautiful. I’m so glad you can feel Spring on the approach after such a torrid winter that indeed, seemed to go on and on and on for you xx
It was endless and as you know we moan and winge about the weather a lot here, it is our national pastime :)
I am so busy enjoying the return of life and green to the world around me that I have neglected to reflect and speak of it! Thank you for reminding me that part of the celebration of Spring is in the speaking and acknowledging of it!
glad to hear you have Spring too – the wood has greened with garlic and we can go out without wooliy hats !
I can remember, when I was a kid, that you’d wake up one morning and it was spring! Warm, sunny, and all the blossoms seemed to bloom at once – and it just kept getting nicer. Not so any longer – our past winter has been the most unusual in memory – where it is the norm to have rain every other day all winter long, this winter we’d go a month or more without rain! And I doubt there was enough real cold to develop the fruit trees properly. It’s just a long, slow journey into spring. Looks like the next few weeks will be cold and wet – maybe winter has decided to arrive after all.
That doesn’t sound too good Doc. I think this morning over here was your childhood spring day. Maybe I stole it? It has been very dry here once the snow went, no rain till recently.
Spring is finally happening here in Italy too. The trees are turning green at last.
Fabulous ! You have such a wonderful landscape to enjoy.
Hey, there’s my flower! :) They’re very beautiful Jo, and I can imagine it exactly as you describe – a Mexican wave of blooms unfolding across the country..
Spring bursts all over, it is a delight and a joy to see the blooms and the birds sound really happy too – I can hear them tweeting away,
Keep posting pictures of spring please…it gives me hope! We’re still buried under snow here :-/
Sending melting thoughts, when does Spring get to you usually Abby?
So glad for you. I bet the dogs are happy!
There is even more stream paddling than usual, they like the milder weather, you are right xx
Here I go with my Tubby the Tuba impersonation – “oh, how lovely”‘ said Tubby! I love your description of the Spreading wave of blossom. I’ve just finished reading your last post. It’s so encouraging Joanna. I shall go back to your weekly sourdough sheets – often. I whined to my husband this morning on our way to work, bouncing around in our ute like a dolly on a spring, that there’s not enough time even to do nothing. However when I got home this evening the first thing I did was to retrieve my Patsy from the fridge and feed and water her. She was looking a little deflated, hopefully she will perk up for me. The texture is somewhat gluey, is that how it should be? We’ve had a huge storm this evening and thunder is still growling around outside in an unfriendly manner but the evening is still relatively warm.
We had one warm day, just one, and today it feels chill again and grey, (sulks) and the wind is blowing the blossom about – I am going to sow some seeds now, I have put it off long enough and there will be nothing growing in the garden if I don’t do something soon! Patsy will be gluey (is this Celia’s Patsy?) if she hasn’t been fed for a while, that is the acids breaking down the flour, but give her a feed and she should perk up soon enough.
Never heard of Tubby till now, you are right it has been a slow start this year : Isn’t this lovely! thank you Jan!
Heeheehee – thank you so much! The version we have/had was of Danny Kaye. We still have it on cassette and this has made me think I should get it transferred to CD for my grandchildren. My girls’ loved it. Though in later years I used to play them the Ride of the Valkyries to galvanise them in the mornings before school and occasionally joined in with a lusty “Hiyahoh” – I don’t think my girls quite ‘got’ me!
And yes, my Patsy is Celia’s.
I love the idea of the blossom spreading across the country in a wave, it’s just what we’ve been waiting for.
I hope the blossom is with you too by now (sounds a bit StarTrekky of me, but you know what I mean – had some fabulous cake today at the Ashton Court Farmers’ Market, a ginger one and a carrot cake – we had a little outing and ended up looking at food – no escape!
We’re a couple of weeks away from some lovely pink autumnal blooms bursting through in our Sydney garden. The days are gloriously sunny, the nights cool. Winter is around the corner. Lovely photographs – thanks for sharing.
Hi, I’m new to baking bread and I’ve just found this wonderful site – I gather leaving a comment on a recent post is a way to make contact. I notice you mentioned Jeffrey Hamelman’s book as “my second most useful bread book”. I’m curious to know what is your first choice. So far I have about 14 batches of bread after reading various books from the library and gathering information from the internet. I have Paul Hollywood’s “Bread” and The River Cottage bread handbook. The pictures of your bread on this site have inspired me to improve my breadmaking and I was wondering if there is any particular book you could recommend which might help. Although there is a wealth of info on the web there are so many different opinions and methods on how to produce the best bread it has left me very confused ie kneading vs french fold & slap, pre-ferments or straight dough, autolyse, etc. Even with the fairly simple methods I am using now the bread produced is so much better than shop bought stuff but the light, airy looking loaves in your pictures is what I’d like to aim for. Sorry about the long post – there’s so much I’d like to ask! Look forward to hearing from you, Roger
ps Spring really is here – I saw bluebells out today
Hi Rachel and thanks for visiting – I hope to put some more Springy pics up soon – love the way our seasons are opposite each other :)
Hi Roger – wow you sound like you are really getting into the bread baking, wonderful. There are lots of good books out there. I used to be very confused too. If you can affird to do a day course with an experienced teacher that is probably the best way to go. Bakery Bits site carries a list of courses, ask how long the teacher has been baking and what their background is before you sign up. I am going to write a page with baking site resources on it one of these days.
In answer to your question, Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf was the book I used most when I was first baking, but Hamelman’s book is the one I moved on to. Everyone has something to offer. There are a lot of books out there and everyone has their own favourites.
Have a look also at the links page on the blog, the Weekend Bakers have a great site and the Fresh Loaf is a big forum with lots of people posting and helping each other – all for bread :)