I have put up some mileage over the last ten days and seen blackthorns in all their beauty. Blackthorns and whitethorns, known as hawthorns in other countries, abound in our hedges and brighten up this time of year so much.
The blackthorn flowers before it comes into leaf and the whitethorn comes into leaf before it flowers, so the whitethorn flowers later in the spring. Every year I look forward to seeing the thorny dark hedge bushes of the blackthorn brighten with a foamy creamy blush.
A few weeks ago I saw them flower in the west of Ireland and in Wicklow and slowly the foamy tide has moved northwards. Last week the thorn bushes were flowering at the bottom of the hill and and over the last few days the flowers have opened up along the hill road, still they haven’t reached our track yet.
It’s lovely to drive along the road into town every few days and see the difference that those few days have made to the colour in the hedges. The whitethorns have been coming into leaf as the blackthorn has come into flower, up on our hilltop the whitethorn leaves have opened from gentle green buds to beautiful fresh green leaves. We are still waiting for the balckthorns to flower up here and I think that it won’t be long now.
Meanwhile we have the birdsong and the green opening buds of the whitethorns to distract while we wait…