After such a mild winter is it reasonable to anticipate an early spring?
With recent frosts, hopefully over, there are certain signs that plants are making an early start. For example, I have a Primula surviving in full bloom in my front garden and there are blooming Snowdrops erupting on the sun-warmed slopes below Leslie House, as well as a few of the same plant in my own back garden to which a touch of golden yellow is added by the flowers of Winter Aconite, which, while it was still legal to do so, I brought into captivity when I planted a patch in my border after finding it naturalised in the woodland of a Fife estate.
I should not be too surprised at such early flowering as a Fife naturalist friend had photographed a Primrose in full bloom between Christmas and the New Year on the sand dunes of Lundin Links, leading to the questionas to whether the plant late for 2011 or early for 2012?
I shall certainly be on the lookout for the early flowering of other native species such as the buttercup relative of Lesser Celandine, for Wood Sorrel, Wood Anemone and others on my walks to cheer me on my way around Riverside Park and Balbirnie Estate, still with my head held high in the hope of catching a glimpse of elusive Treecreepers as they creep, almost mouselike, up the vertical trunks of still standing trees, having had two recent reports of these little birds from town gardens, one in the neighbourhood of Raeburn Heights and another just across Aouthparks Road in Rimbleton. Presumably they have found their way into the centre of town using the line of trees known as Rimbleton strip as a wildlife highway.
It will be interesting to know the date on which a Gazette reader will find the first deposit of frog spawn in local ponds, or spot the first Mallard ducklings in the cover of pondweed around the edge of the Town Park and Stenton ponds, or on Coul Reservoir or elsewhere in Fife..
*Tom Gray writes in the Glenrothes Gazette