Today - before preparing the Sunday roast dinner - I drove out of the city to Shotts Lane. It is a dead end lane where I have often parked Clint and previous vehicles too - Keith, Dave the Ford Focus, Pierre and Graham the Seat Ibiza. With boots on, I set off marching my very familiar circular route. If I don't loiter or stop to take photographs, the walk takes me exactly an hour.
This morning I was slowed down by the snowdrops that gather on the banks of Redcar Brook. Such a beautiful display this year. Thousands of them. I paused to take pictures as I acknowledged their loveliness. They were so lovely that tomorrow I plan to add a poem called "Snowdrops" to this blogpost.
Googling "snowdrops", I discovered that they are not in fact native plants. They were introduced long ago - possibly during the era of Roman occupation but were certainly well-established by the sixteenth century. Interestingly, William Shakespeare never referred to snowdrops in his writings though he did remark upon daffodils in "The Winter's Tale": "When daffodils begin to peer, - With hey! The doxy over the dale, - Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year".
They're beautiful. I had to look them up to and wondered if they would grow in Alberta and the answer is yes. I think I'll stick with crocuses and grape hyacinths though, more color after months of white snow.ReplyDelete
Crocuses and snowdrops are like siblings that emerge around the same time before any other flowers.Delete
Yes, snowdrops and daffodils in a more natural environment look wonderful en masse. You've made me wonder what plant is actually native to England, pre Roman times I suppose.ReplyDelete
It is something I wonder myself and what did people eat before foreign vegetables arrived on our shores?Delete
“Where are the snowdrops?” said the sun.
“Dead” said the frost, “Buried and lost, every one.”
“A foolish answer,” said the sun
“They did not die, asleep they lie, every one.
And I will awake them, I the sun,
Into the light, all clad in white, every one.”
“It’s rather dark in the earth today”
said one little bulb to its brother.
“But I thought that I felt a sunbeam’s ray.
We must strive and grow ’til we find our way”
and they nestled close to each other.
They struggled and strived by day and by night,
’til two little snowdrops in green and white
rose out of the darkness and into the light;
and softly kissed one another.
By Annie Mattheson born March 1853 died 1924
I am not known for my love of poetry but I adore this. For some reason I can't read it without feeling like crying...weird!
Thanks for sharing this Frances. Very sweet. I had never seen it before.Delete
It goes to show that what what we would call an invasive species today has served to beautify and diversify the flora of the British Isles.ReplyDelete
Here, snowdrops are called Schneeglöckchen, little snow bells. And they do indeed look like tiny bells when open. I love to see them, no matter whether they grow in people's gardens, in parks or woodland.
I like that word - "schneeglöckchen". They do indeed look like little bells.Delete
The Romans introduced Hares to Blighty. Most vegetable came from Asia and the Mediterranean via the Silk Road. Even today Lidl tomatoes come from Morocco. Our flowers and vegetables would not be Brexit supporters.ReplyDelete
Turnips would have supported Brexit. In fact it was the turnips who voted for it.Delete
Daffodils are starting to bloom here, kind of early.ReplyDelete
The daffs are out in our garden too.Delete
The snowdrops are so pretty! Do they have a scent?ReplyDelete
Sadly no - not one that I have ever smelt anyway.Delete
A very pretty harbinger of spring.ReplyDelete
I am guessing that they are not a common sight in northern Florida.Delete
I love wildflowers in the spring but unfortunately, our native deer population loves eating the bulbs of many of them and so we have to selectively plant certain kinds if we want to enjoy them.ReplyDelete
Don't you have fences to keep those critters out?Delete
We fence what we can but not everything otherwise our yard looks more like a prison camp.Delete
I love to see snowdrops. I used to have some in my garden but they disappeared so I am happy to see them here, Neil. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I am glad to have brought snowdrops into your Monday Ellen.Delete
I think that is the best picture you have ever taken of the natural world that you inhabit. And I am sure that is the best of your poems that I have ever read. Thank you for both the picture and poem, NT.ReplyDelete
Thank you DS. You know how to make a fellow feel good.Delete
Last night I was sitting in the Rising Sun with Your Honour and all his readers.ReplyDelete
The snowdrop hath no scent, I heard Your Honour tell Jennifer.
I went up to the bar and addressed Mr Nabokov who had ordered a glass of Port.
After insisting on paying for his double Port I asked Mr Nabokov what he thought.
*The snowdrop hath an elusive, lightly honeyed, almond odeur,* he confided.
*Arrange a vase of snowdrops with a vase of gardenia and orange jasmine, and your home will rival the fields of Heaven.*
I woke up and made myself a cup of instant Kenco Millicano (15 per cent ground coffee) with some warm milk.
Not much of a coffee odeur, alas, and there is not a flower or potted plant in my bleak spartan home.
No wonder I envy Pixie, Frances, Ellen, Peace Thyme, Jennifer, Meike & Miss Moon.
The fragrant ladies. The feminine touch that maketh a home a home.
I am rereading Pale Fire for the umpteenth time.
The maddest funniest novel in Nabokovian English and I think I smell snowdrops.
Bleak spartan home? Is it Barlinnie? I'm guessing fraud or impersonating Jeremy Paxman.Delete
A Nod of Snowdrops : The proper term for the flower growing in profusionDelete
Galanthophile : A collector of snowdrops.
Persephone : She returned in Spring from the underworld w/ snowdrops.
Death's Flower : Victorians wouldn't have snowdrops in their homes.
Sparta : A city in Laconia, Greece.
Spartan women were better educated than the ladies of Athens. could inherit property, own land, and make business transactions.
There's plenty of time for reading in Barlinnie.
The real name's Scobie by the way.
I'm writing a book about Moses & Hermes Trismegistus.
They werenae the same guy but they attended the same Masonic lodge.
Lovely photos and poem YP.ReplyDelete
The last two winters we've had a cold spell of weather, down to 0º on occasions and I'm wondering if we could now grow snowdrops this far south.
I surmise that some varieties may have been developed for planting in warmer climes.Delete
Here the snowdrops begin appearing right after Christmas, and it's so nice to be reminded that spring (though still distant) is on its way once the excitement of the holidays fades.ReplyDelete
What are the flowers very similar to snowdrops but with a small green dot at the end of each petal? Those are what I had in one house we lived in years ago, they grew all along the bed under the wisteria vine.ReplyDelete