3 April 2014

Springtime

Snowdrops and crocuses are impostors. They are not the true heralds of springtime for that is undoubtedly the role of the trumpeting daffodil. Weatherwise this week has been rather odd so far with stagnant mistiness, sand dust arriving from the Sahara Desert and yesterday a couple of sunny interludes. That's when I got out to snap these daffodil pictures:-
Above, on the easternmost edge of Sheffield - at Handsworth - an embankment parade of jonquils - those miniature daffodils and below I am near the entrance of Bingham Park just off Rustlings Road. - always a stupendous display:-
 Getting closer to the daffodils in Bingham Park:-
On Monday the murky mist hung around all day but I needed a walk anyway so I rambled from Lodge Moor down through the woods at Wyming Brook to the Rivelin dams. Here I am at the lower Rivelin reservoir, looking over the water to Fox Holes Lodge:-
 And here in the woods, I saw a good example of the parasitic arboreal growth or "gall" commonly known as witches' broom. Initially a fungus enters the tree and stimulates new growth even in the depths of winter. The resulting twiggy eruption will often resemble a large bird's nest or the head of  a witch's broom. The fungus is sustained by the unseasonal greenery. The tree - usually a birch - may bear several of these galls which can take years to get to this size:-
That's all I've got to give you today. Now I'll return to page 376 of "Jane Eyre" by Yorkshire lass Charlotte Brontë. The blurb on the modern  paperback front cover is a little disconcerting - "Jane Eyre has been turning girls into women for generations". I guess it's a marketing ploy - trying to funnel this nineteenth century classic into the moneymaking hopper that has become known as "Chick Lit". Frankly, in my ever so humble opinion,  that is an affront to Charlotte Brontë's memory. Only 214 more pages to go then I'll say more. Bet you can't wait.

24 comments:

  1. Oh, my goodness. Such a field of jonquils. Beautiful! Here in our mountains if you want any other bulb to bloom, you must plant it with daffodils as the elk population will never, ever get close to a daffodil. Don't know quite why.

    Today on our news, we heard about your Sahara dust storm and the resulting smog. Is that unusual or does it happen often?

    Happy Spring to you and your family. We are off to California to enjoy a month of spring there and then come back here to our mountain spring which happens in ..... oh, the beginning or end of June. Ta, ta!

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    1. Oh good heavens! Your spring doesn't start till June? That must make your mountain summer very short! Have a lovely time in California MT!

      By the way - Sahara dust is something we experience very briefly every two or three years - it can be much thicker and more significant in France and Spain.

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  2. Fabulous!

    If I had come across the gall, I would have been convinced it was a bird's nest.

    The blurb on "Jane Eyre" would rather put me off reading the book, were I to pick it up in a book shop and not knowing anything about it or the author. To put this on the same level with Chick Lit indeed is an affront to Charlotte Brontë.

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    1. Arian - you should see the misty "chick lit" cover as well - on which a woman is apparently clutching her bosom. No uninformed man would ever select this book on the basis of its cover.

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  3. Delightful ! I've yet to see the daffodils when they are like that. I think you have to live in England or just be lucky to see them like that as the timing of the flowers changes all the time with early and late Spring. I need to visit and stay for a whole year to see the seasons through, but seeing as I'm only a lowly member of the Commonwealth and loyal subject of HM the Queen, I'm only allowed to visit for 6 months. However if I was from Poland, or Italy or Germany I could visit for as long as I pleased. Very unfair !!

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentiment. English people feel a natural sense of allegiance with Australians and New Zealanders. At my daughter's office in Leeds a young Australian man overstayed his temporary work visa stay and has been deported. He had an English name and English ancestry and yet Romanians or Slovakian gipsies can apparently stay forever. It stinks.

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  4. A wonderful display.
    Despite the murky weather I like the Lodge photo.
    Galls are fascinating. It's raining here so I'll go and have a look for some. I'll be cecedologist today.

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    1. Cecedologist? You can get medication for that nowadays Adrian!

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  5. The glories of Nature! How humble humans really are...if only they'd have the commonsense to realise it. :)

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    1. Sadly, in spite of all the rhetoric, we have treated Nature like a pantry to be raided or like an unexpected legacy to be squandered.

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  6. I loved Jane Eyre. All that angst and drama does the heart good. Must buy another copy but will look in the charity shop for an old one that doesn't have bosom-clutching woman on the front that puts uniformed men off.

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    1. Uniformed men? You mean like police officers or parking attendants? By the way I bought my paperback in Oxfam for £1.99 - much cheaper than an Amazon purchase when you factor in the delivery charge.

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    2. I was thinking more of firemen actually - ha ha! There is a half price book shop in Beverley that has all the old classics so I will have a look in there the next time I go.

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    3. I guess you are often thinking of firemen Molly so why not look out for a "Fireman Sam" annual while in the Beverley bookshop.

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    4. You are cruel, YP. I didn't really think you had written "uniformed". 'Twas just my wee joke.

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    5. "Forsooth ma'am you mistake my good intentions for I had already concluded that thine error was as deliberate as the rain that falls on yon purply moors," grimaced Mr Rochester.

      Jane blushed and scurried to the library where little Adele waited patiently for her morning lesson in matters arithmetical.

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    6. Just put another log on the fire, Heathcliff and then put kettle on.

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    7. Aye Mistress Molly. I'll be 'appy to put a log in the glowin' embers o thy fire.

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  7. Ah..
    Rivlin in the spring
    Delightful
    Oh I do miss South Yorkshire/ Derbyshire YP

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    1. Do you ever get into the city centre YP
      I wonder if you could do me a favour if you do?
      Chris and I are getting married ..... I would like an arty photo of ALL BAR ONE in the city centre
      ( it was the place we met)
      Could you take me an arty one?
      No rush
      It would be lovely if you could..I have plans for it for a card!
      Thank you IN ADVANCE
      Johnx

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    2. My Dear Earl Gray
      Your request will be my personal mission and forsooth my gift to you and your betrothed. The execution of this matter will be concluded ere April's out.
      Your obedient servant,
      Viscount Pudding

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    3. Thank you chuck!

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  8. I envy you the daffodils. I haven't seen a field of them since 2005. My house in Scotland has hundreds but they are over already and I shall not be back for another three or four weeks. It's the same story on my return to New Zealand.

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