This year has been a special "Berry" year, I don't personally recall seeing so many red berries hanging from our trees, especially the Hawthorn, Hollies and Rowans. I am sure this alone must have excited our local and more so our continental visiting thrushes to have stayed in some localities longer than they would in most years and perhaps they have not been just as "nomadic" as they would be in most years. Perhaps this to has contributed to the phenomenal massive Redwing roost down at "Birdy Brow - Kemple End" (See last blog)
Could a drought experience in one year, lead to a super yield the following year?
What has made it such a special year for these berries? well personally I think it is more down to the involvement of the previous year! When I look back on 2018 we went through a prolonged heatwave situation right at the crucial main growing and flowering period eg: May and especially June! I remember we lost lots of our special orchids and other flora which found it so difficult to sustain the long drought situation, resulting with some of them just going into a premature dieback. In my opinion this sort of situation especially with the berry producing flora could well have led the way to this bounty we are having in 2019.
Hawthorns covered in white blossom to such a extent, from a distance it looked like snow!
It became a much clearer picture by the middle of May 2019 that we were going to have a super berry yield when parts of Holme Stinted Pastures (Clawthorpe, Near Hutton Roof) was covered in what can only be described as a look of snow! I had never seen it looking quite the way it did (check out photos). So many of the hawthorns looking so beautiful. This was the best indicator toward what inevitably had to follow. So we had the trees full of white blossom in May which turned into lovely bunches of red berries by the middle of September.
A great contribution to this story
After reading the above a good friend Arlene from down in Helmshore has been in touch to say that she thinks perhaps "the unusual hot spell around February 2019 with temperatures into the 70 degrees, plus the hot weather in early summer might have had impact on the fantastic flowers and subsequent fruit crop? (quote: Arlene Harris - East Lancashire)