Thursday, 28 January 2010

Spring flowers and winter apples

I don't normally put pictures this large on my blog, but January has been such a cold and miserable month that I felt I needed something to cheer myself up. I took this photo in spring 2008 in my local park.

At the same time as I took the picture, leaves were just beginning to bud on the trees, so it was still early spring. It won't be long before we see these colourful sights again this year. In the meantime, I hope this brightens your day a little.

Mind you, if you are in Exeter, you can go and see a profusion of apples still growing on a tree its owner has called "magical".

Despite the bitter winter, with deep snow and freezing temperatures, the tree in Summer Lane, Exeter, Devon is covered in red fruit. These should have all fallen to the ground late last year, before the first frosts, but they are still growing.

Experts are astounded. Horticulturalist Jane Schofield said: "It is a very magical thing to see apples in January. I am very surprised they haven't fallen off through the cold weather."

Apple grower Chris Patt suggested that the tree might be lacking the hormones that normally cause fruit to fall in the autumn, or it might have a genetic mutation.

Whatever the reason, the apples are still juicy, edible and perfectly good for making apples pies or cider. Sounds magical to me.


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