YOU would need to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the sight of a family of geese and goslings.
This particular family, pictured here scavenging for food among the fallen blossom, were snapped close to the railway station in York.
Here the geese have become something of an institution among locals where it’s not uncommon for them to hold up the traffic as they wend their merry way to and from the nearby river.
As with the first lambs seen prancing joyfully around farmers’ fields, the sight of goslings is seen by many as a sign that spring is in the air.
For a lot of people, though, Spring doesn’t really start until the bare cherry blossom trees suddenly burst into life.
At this time of year the sight of branches decked with soft white and pink flowers is one of those great, yet simple, pleasures.
Not only that but while the rapeseed fields help paint large swathes of our countryside yellow, cherry blossom can be found among our towns and cities where it enlivens even the drabbest of urban spaces.
Blossom is the term given to a cluster of flowers that bloom on any plant – so people include magnolia, hawthorn and blackthorn as ‘blossoming’ varieties.
But “blossom trees” are usually associated with fruit trees and when most people imagine blossom they tend to think of ornamental cherries.
The annual cherry blossom season is celebrated in many countries around the world with festivals in Japan and the United States. It is revered in this country too – nature’s very own Roman candle.
In a week or so this explosion of colour will have waned, if it hasn’t done so already, soon to be replaced by the first of summer’s flowers and shrubs.
But the blossom’s brief flowering never ceases to impress – a timely reminder, perhaps, to get out there and smell the roses.
Technical details: Nikon D3s digital camera with an 80-200mm lens at 200mm with an exposure of 1/50th sec at f9 with an ISO of 640. (GL1005/85a).