NZ5712 : Blackthorn thicket, Newton Wood

taken 4 months ago, near to Newton Under Roseberry, Redcar And Cleveland, Great Britain

Blackthorn thicket, Newton Wood
Blackthorn thicket, Newton Wood
A bit of a wet morning, with wisps of cloud skirting the hills. In a few weeks time, this blackthorn thicket will have settled back into an unassuming backdrop to the wonderful display of bluebells in Newton Wood. A few early sprigs are already showing. But for now, the spiny blackthorn takes the stage with its early showing of white flowers which appear before its leaves. Hawthorn or “may” on the other hand, with similar small white flowers, blooms after its leaves, a month or so later than blackthorn. Hence the saying “ne’er cast a clout till may be out” which me mam used to say when I didn’t want to wear my woolly vest to school. I always thought ‘may’ referred to the month of May but no, it refers to the hawthorn shrub.

Blackthorn has traditionally been used in witchcraft. Harry Potter tried a wand made of the wood, which he had found when his own wand was broken but it didn’t suit him because he had not won it. It is also the traditional wood to make Irish shillelaghs, a staff used for fighting.

But without doubt, the best use of blackthorn is for making sloe gin using the berries of the tree. Pick the sloes after the first frost and leave to soak until Christmas.

From my photo-diary for 2nd April 2019 see LinkExternal link
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NZ5712, 173 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 2 April, 2019   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 9 April, 2019
Geographical Context
Woodland, Forest 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 5757 1216 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:30.0901N 1:6.7524W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 5755 1210
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Other Tags
Thicket  Blackthorn  Sloe  National Trust  Hill  Roseberry Topping 

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