Early yellow blooms ~

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Yellow blossoms, January 21, 2017

Yellow blossoms when all the world is otherwise leafless make me think of forsythia, but it turns out that these yellow blossoms are witch-hazel, “which” bloom even earlier than forsythia! In fact the forest service (here) describes the witch-hazel’s flowers in pretty much the same way I just described the ones in this picture: “Generally, its bright yellow flowers are the only sign of color in woods where all the autumn leaves lay upon the forest floor.” But what does witch-hazel have to do with witches, you may ask? Nothing, really, though it’s been considered to have magical properties (on which, see this site here). According to this site here, the “witch” in witch-hazel comes from Old English “wican,” meaning “to bend.” So witch-hazel is a hazel with bendable branches, is all!

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