Saturday 12 December 2015


In spring, Milton Country Park is transformed by successive waves of white blossom, which, in turn, develops into ripe fruit from late July onwards.

Cherry plums
By Path to Fen Road Exit - 23 July 2015

The first trees to blossom in the park are the cherry plums and the blackthorn in late March (see post Blossom).  Four months later, appetizing ripe plums hang on the boughs.  At the time this photograph was taken there were masses of unripe plums on the tree.  When I went back to photograph the tree just over a week later, all the plums had gone.

Ripening blackthorn berries
South East Park - 28 July 2015

At the same time as the cherry plums are getting ripe for picking, the blackthorn berries still have a way to go.  I only found this one bush by the poplars in the south east corner of the park with any berries on it.  

Ripe red apples growing on tree
By Fen Road Exit - 10 September 2015

About a month after the blackthorn, came the apple trees (see post Apple Blossom Time).  By September, a variety of apples, large and small, red and green, could be seen on the trees around the park.

Green windfall apples litter the path
North of Deep Water - 20 September 2015

In some cases, the windfalls were more conspicuous than the apples left on the trees.

Hawthorn bush with berries
By Hall's Pond - 10 September 2015

There was a magnificent display of hawthorn during May (see post May). But whether it was the weather - there was a very heavy storm just at the peak of the blossom -  or whether it is the position of the bushes in the park, the crop of berries in the park seemed disappointing.  Frustratingly, I saw plenty of bushes around Milton that were red with berries, but none in the park itself.  This bush was one of the bushes that provided an amphitheatre of white in the centre of the park by Hall's Pond shown in earlier post.

Close up of Ripe elderberries
Play Area - 23 August 2015

The last two bushes which produced a profusion of white flowers were the elder and the bramble.  Elderflowers were the slightly earlier of the two, appearing early to mid June (see post Elderflower Time).  Despite the late flowers, elderberries are some of the first fruit to ripen.  Here, in a favoured location with plenty of sun by the play area, the characteristic deep purple berries are evident by the end of August.

Bank of brambles bearing red and black berries
East Bank Todd's Pit - 20 September 2015

Less than a fortnight after the elderflowers, the brambles start their long flowering period (see post Summer Flowers), with the fruit ripening less than six weeks later.  As a result, I could have taken a picture like the one above just as easily in August.  I didn't because I waited to get an image of a bush laden with luscious fully ripe black blackberries.  After a month of trying, I realised that such an image is not possible, because almost as soon as the berries ripen they are eaten - mostly by humans.  So I settled for a bushful of most red but some black berries.

Next: Early Autumn

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