We had about an hour without rain today. It rained in the night and it has rained for the rest of the day.
During that brief reprieve, I grabbed my camera to record my John Downie Crab Apple for the second month of Tree Following.
There has been a sudden breaking of bud in the last week and new leaves are small but unfurling more every day. The week has been damp but mild and early spring is moving through the garden.
The next photo shows my tree as the small one on the left. On its right are two horse chestnuts and in the border in front of them is another John Downie Crab Apple. Both crab apples are probably the same age, but the second tree is overshadowed by the horse chestnuts and is not such a distinctive shape.
In the background are Jay and the Grey One, eating their morning hay. Behind them is the ancient overgrown hedge, now a line of oaks, beeches, hollies, elders and hawthorns that stretches down along the field boundary.
Almost monochrome, new crab apple leaves open against a grey sky.
The mass of intertwining branches at the centre of the tree, in fresh, new, lime green leaf.
Crab apple branches meet horse chestnut branches........
......where fat sticky buds are breaking open more each day.
Looking the other way, there is a background of weeping willow, well into new leaf, behind the crab apple.
In contrast, old oaks in the hedgerow are still in their bare winter shapes.
There is loose moss on the lawn in front of the tree. Magpies, jackdaws and a green woodpecker have been pulling moss this week. They may have been looking for food in the soil beneath, but the moss will be perfect lining material for other birds still building their nests.
Other trees and shrubs are in bloom this week.
...and beneath the tortured willow, the bush form of cherry is full of delicate pink blossoms.
I love these little daffodils, which look as though they are standing in a wind tunnel with their petals flowing backwards.
The Amelanchier tree is in glorious blossom and just needs a blue sky behind it to look at its best.
The crab apple has been overtaken by a pear tree that grows near the shelter of the house. Its white blossoms are waiting to open in the sun.
Beside the path, an old flower pot is full of forget-me-nots that seeded themselves last year.
I found a blackbirds nest this morning. The swallows should be home from Africa before next month`s Tree Watching post.