Friday, March 13, 2009

Blooming Friday

catkins --- flowers of common hazel in our garden


One of the early signs that spring is coming is these catkins (also called aments) of our common hazel shrubs. They are called “catkins” because they are supposed to resemble a cat’s tail. Well, they surely do, especially when they sway to a gentle breeze, like a cat showing “excitement” with the twitching of its tail. Or a cat showing “agitation” with the wagging or swishing of the tail when a gusty wind blows the aments into a flurry.


Personally, I find these flowers quite interesting, both in form and appearance. They’re like the fine streamers you use during festive occasions, draped haphazardly on trees, shrubs or balconies, creating a cheery playful atmosphere. Since they appear after the coldest days of winter and right before spring, it makes me wonder if they are there to extend the spirit of the Christmas season or herald the coming of spring.


The only hitch is that it also marks the onset of my pollen allergy. And this is one of the plants that I’m very sensitive to --- I sneeze a lot with an itchy runny nose (and the latter sensation can also extend to the eyes). Oh well, one cannot have everything. And since we don’t want to cut them, I just try not to get too close to them, and take a good shower after being outside (or before sleeping) to get rid of the pollen that may have stuck to my hair and skin.


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10 comments:

Roses and stuff said...

You've just opened my eyes for the beauty of the catkins. I've never really looked at them closely before... The shots are great! I'm sorry about your allergy though, it must be awful...
Enjoy your weekend - stay away from the catkins. ; )
Katarina

andré said...

I really like the color of your sky- it seems very attractive! Good to hear that spring is coming to your place.

Frances said...

Hi Lareine, I am so sorry you are allergic to these beautiful catkins, but it does sound like you still can enjoy them, then take a shower afterwards. Now that is true nature loving! :-)
Frances

Catherine said...

Beautiful photos! Aww..that blue blue sky~& don't you love how Nature close~up shows how really beautiful even a catkin is..?! Beautiful shots & site, I'm glad you visited me so I could find you ~thanks for your nice comments! I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pictures.
Enjoy your weekend!
Cat

Eva Linnea/Häxor o Änglar said...

Lovely blue sky in your beautiful pictures. Sorry it´s not "your" season because of your allergy.
Take care!
/Eva Linnea

sweet bay said...

Our alders are blooming too and they must be related to your plants -- the flowers look very similar. Great pictures of an unusual flower.

nussaibah said...

I never knew that "catkins" existed before. Beautiful :) I'm sorry to here about the pollen allergy though

Glädjekällan said...

Lovely blue sky. Here we have had grey, grey and grey for a long time now.
Enjoy your weekend!
Birgitta

Lillebeth said...

Sorry for your pollen allergy. Beautiful pictures.

lareine said...

to everybody: thanks for the visit... and i appreciate a lot your concern about my allergy... but i think i'm getting sort of "immune" to it... i still have a runny nose, but i sneeze less... well, i hope it would continue that way...

and spring has arrived early here... for a week, we've been having a clear sky and a lot of sun :)... hope it's like that on your side :)

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