The wild Gorse is one of the most commonly found plants here in Connemara. We are fortunate enough to have a wall of it in our own back garden. The first few blossoms usually appear in February but they arrived soon after Christmas this year, presumably due to the mild weather. These yellow flowers are always a welcome sight after a long colourless Winter. At the moment the gorse is in full bloom everywhere and it is a sight to behold.
Here is a photo I took of a gorse lined road in Ardbear, just outside Clifden.
The gorse stems are thorny and evergreen but the flowers smell like coconut, sweet and summery.
Here's another picture, a little closer up.
And just a mention for the Hawthorn - I stopped the car on the way back in to town to photograph this lovely old tree. I love its knarly branches and moss covered trunk.