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Kittens showing off in November


Autumn in Hertfordshire,  November 2018

Catkins are groups of tiny petal-less flowers, all set to spread their pollen as they open. There were plenty getting ready in the woods around me this week, though they are something we usually expect to see in early Spring.  Wikipedia tell us “they can even occur in December”, but our enduring mild weather has helped them make an early start.

And you’re probably wondering why I rambled about kittens in the title? The word catkin actually originated in the 16th century, derived from an old Dutch word, katteken, meaning kitten, and obviously related to the French chiton and German Kätzchen.



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 25 November 2018

Posted as part of All Seasons

5 replies »

  1. Smile – I didn’t know that! The modern Dutch word is simply kat or katje (little cat) This is your sense of humor coming out:):) Many thanks for this little interesting detail for All Seasons, Deb! Have a great week.


  2. Hard to imagine that there are Catkins out in the U.K. when we seemed to jump from summer to winter in the space of a few days in this part of Ontario, Canada. We’ve had snow on the ground for a couple of weeks now.


  3. Nature is getting weird. … We do use the word Kätzchen in German for willow catkins (also known as, smirk, pussy willow). Willow catkins is literally the same as Weiden-Kätzchen.


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