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By sheer coincidence, author Robert Macfarlane’s ‘word of the day’ today on Twitter is cat’s-paw.

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He writes about them: ‘nickname for catkins of the smaller willows/sallows (Goat willow, pussy willow, grey willow); among the earliest signs of spring; first grey & silky, then growing a glowing aura of tiny flowers. Often brought into houses at Easter/on Palm Sunday.’

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I had already decided that today’s post would be on this same topic so here are the photos I’ve been collecting over the past week or so. These are of different trees so it’s quite likely they are not all the same species of willow (and I’m useless at working out which is which), but I love the way the catkins develop from soft furriness to beautiful bursts of yellow, and the insects love them too.

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