Walking through the main campus of Reading University, where they have been planting a lot of saplings recently, I came across this:

With the sun getting stronger, and the leaves not yet out, one gets some very picturesque views at this time.  These, on a young Plane Tree (Platanus), are probably its first fruits.  They did, however, remind me of this:

This is the Atom Tree at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England.  It was planted in 2007 to celebrate 50 years of the laboratory, and if you count you can see it has 50 atom-like balls.  However, they can’t have been looking after it very well, because it hasn’t grown a new ball for each subsequent year.

Nevertheless, I like it.  Perhaps they should festoon it with tinsel leading up to Christmas, and gather round it singing a version of the German Christmas Tree Carol:

    Atomenbaum, Atomenbaum,
    Wo gingen deine Blätter?

Anyway, back to Spring, and a pretty picture to finish:

Wishing you all the joys of the season,