Dave Cheetham (February)
These catkins are starting to appear in the woodlands surrounding Plas y Brenin right now.
I'm pretty sure these, drooping yellowy fellas are the male catkins - the female catkins are upright and green.
An interesting fact for outdoor enthusiasts is that the Birch tree (also know as 'the lady of the woods') may hold the key to the origin of gaiters. In ancient Scandinavia people used to wrap strips of birch bark around their lower legs to keep out the wet.
Birch bark was also stitched together to make early canoes. In fact birchbark canoes are still made by a few specialist craftsmen and can still be bought this day.