Carlo Forte (March)
It's a fantastic time of year rIght now - buds appearing on trees everywhere as nature readies itself for the warm regeneration of spring. These buds are from a willow tree. Many species of willow exist throughout the British Isles although they do hybridise with each leading to variations, making it difficult to identify species.
In biblical times all willows were seen as trees of celebration but this has changed over time and now willows are associated with sadness and mourning. Classical poems often refer to the willow in this way and it is repeated in art with Ophelia drowning herself near a willow. It is possible that the bitter taste of willow gave rise to this association.
Nowadays willow wood is used to form the classic iconic feature of the British Summer - The Cricket Bat!