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Winter is still with us, yet spring isn’t too far away! 
 
As well as the lighter mornings and evenings, there is one treasure we all love to see … the humble snowdrop! 
 
With a Latin name Galanthus Nivalis, these pretty white and green flowers vary hugely in shape and size, yet whatever their floral design, they are a welcome sight to see. 
 
As one of the year’s earliest blooms, there are around 20 species of snowdrop and they usually have a single white drooping bell-shaped flower with white petals and green whorls or circles. 
 
If we have a fall of snow, these hardy little plants will survive and usually flower between January and March. 
 
Seeing a carpet of snowdrops would gladden anyone who is fed up of winter’s dark cloak. One of the country’s best snowdrop displays takes place at Burton Agnes Hall, near Driffield. 
 
This year’s Snowdrop Spectacular takes place from 7th February to 1st March and will include an extra day thanks to 2020 being a leap year. The 29th February takes place on a Saturday, which means there’s a greater chance of seeing this amazing natural spectacle. 
 
 
So, we’ve enjoyed the snowdrops which pop out of the ground as winter slowly heads towards spring. 
 
Yet the dark nights of winter can also be enjoyed as a perfect time of year to take up stargazing, planet spotting and moon watching! 
 
You can always explore the night sky from the comfort of your back garden or yard with the help of a pair of binoculars and a star map. 
 
Yet if you’re a novice or perhaps want to see the stars through the telescope lens, then you’re in luck if you live in the Ryedale area! 
 
The annual Dark Skies Festival takes place throughout the North York Moors National Park from 14th February to 1st March inclusive. 
 
Explore the cosmos with over 100 events including night navigation, stargazing safaris, nocturnal bike rides and workshops. The festival will enjoy its fifth ‘outing’ in 2020, and the full event list can be found here. 
However, highlights include searching for the elusive Aurora (otherwise known as the Northern Lights); a Dark Skies and Warm Fires event and even a Yoga and Mindfulness session! Locations include the North York Moors National Park Centre at Danby; Sutton Bank National Park Centre; Dalby Forest; Helmsley Arts Centre; Castle Howard and other places. 
 
There are some top tips whether you are hunting for snowdrops or stars, by the way! Dress warmly and appropriately … the British weather is anything but predictable. Check if the events offer food or other refreshments. If not, take a flask and something to eat. For stargazing, take an old red bike light for illumination … red light help your eyes to adapt to the darkness of the night skies. 
 
Don’t pick wildflowers … snowdrops and other flowers belong to Mother Nature and are there for everyone to enjoy. 
 
And remember if you find these events irresistible and you want to join in, our taxis can take you to any of the above destination in style and comfort! 
Tagged as: Snowdrops and Stars
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