Friday, 25 February 2011


According to the BBC weather website,
we've had 30-40% less sunshine
than usual
in January and February.
I would say that it has felt 40% grayer;
yes, at least that.

Cheers for a day of "sunny intervals."

Cheers for snowdrops
and purple crocuses.

Is it purple prose to say
that English spring is paved with flowers?

Here comes the first wave.

the snowdrops are nearly as dense
as the drifts of snow
for which they are named.

I've been coming here every February
for years.  
And never, never has the sun shone.
It's usually quite a shivery experience,
cold hands and chapped cheeks,
but today we took tea outside.

The many visitors,
mostly old and young,
did mostly obey the dictates
to keep off the grass.

But there were a few rule-breakers.
Keen photographers will do anything
to capture their prey.

Wellies are an absolute must,
as the mud to grass ratio
(not to mention the temperature)
does not favor bare feet just yet.
I did hear this, though:
Mom, can I take off my coat?

It's still February, of course
and the sun is a big tease
because rain will be back tomorrow.
But just for today, it is Just-spring
and the world is not just muddy,
but mudluscious

For those who could not resist
fresh spring green
and the year's first warmth
there was one grassy verge.

I wonder which child
first had the notion
to roll down it?

I was almost tempted, too,
to try my forwards roll.
Long forgotten skills:
Let's dust them off
and bring them out
for spring.

In two more weeks
there will be an explosion of daffodils --
always a more reliable source of yellow
than the sun, in spring.


Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Bee

Love seeing ths children out and having a good time. I am ready for Spring and warm weather! One question for you Bee-could I grow snowdrops were I live?

Have a great week end!!

Tracy :)

Jeanne said...

Love your post Bee...these sunny breaks between the grey days are magical. I took my son and his friends to see 'Children's War Stories' at the Imperial War Museum and then sat outside and had lunch on a park bench. Everyone was smiling, that sun was working it's magic!
The daffodils are up around us. In my mind there is no better place on earth than England in Spring!

Best wishes..

Jeanne xx

Elizabeth said...

Oh Bee I am so ready for springtime but sadly we will get some more SNOW tomorrow. This winter doesn't want to end.

Enjoy your signs of spring.

kristina said...

Oh those snowdrops are amazing! We already have daffodils in bloom here so you should have them very soon.

K x

Dragonfly said...

I think I need to put this in my diary for next year. I'd love to see these drifts of snowdrops with my own eyes. I'm afraid I would probably be one of those rule-breakers with my camera too!

And yesterday was positively spring-like. I felt deafened by birdsong as I sat sewing by my open back door.

Marcheline said...


Catalyst said...

England looks lovely, Bee. Regrettably we have a wintery snow storm coming to northern Arizona this weekend.

Michelle said...

A beautiful day!

Nimble said...

I like the 'keep off the grass' sign. "Bulbs Growing" in smaller type below is such a convincing explanation for the request.

All hail the occasional shafts of sunlight. May there be many more.

I can't quite imagine you rolling down the hill. But if you do, be ready for some dizziness. I find that my 40-something brain is quite unused to being whirled around. Whenever I do somersaults in the pool it takes a while to recover. After three or four however it gets easier!

rachel said...

Hasn't it been glorious to have two whole days of mild weather with intermittent sun? I had to take my coat off on our morning walk today!

Snowdrops lift the spirits so well, and to see whole drifts of them like that is truly wonderful.

The Bug said...

We had a little snow this morning here in Ohio, so it was really nice to see evidence that since you're getting it, spring will indeed arrive at some point here.

Teresa O said...

I am tinged green with envy as I stare out at the onslaught of snow and wind. The idea of walking through a park with expanses of snowdrops and spring greens is delightful. Mother Nature makes us wait a bit longer.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Meri said...

Of course they were clamoring for coats-off --- the sun was out! As for me, I watched the snow mound up around the jonquil leaves and day lily foliage that had already spiked up from the ground. They must be so confused!

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I took tea outside yesterday. If I'd attempted a forward roll I would not be here today to talk about it.
The gloves have never been worn. Can you get me an invite to the big wedding? Never mind, I don't want to outshine the bride. I think of Grace, too... and all the great movie star beauties of that era. I doubt they're of Wharton's era...but wouldn't that be nice? One of my very favorites.


Sarah Laurence said...

I wish we could see a walk “paved with flowers.” Love that! It took me twice as long to drive back from Boston to Maine through heavy rain, sleet, hail and then snow. We arrived home to six unplowed inches in the driveway.

A tumble in the grass was just what I needed after shoveling – thank you! Nothing beats an English spring and your gorgeous images are a pure delight. I can almost feel the sunlight radiating from my screen. I don’t suppose you’d trade some snowdrops for the real stuff?

Tracy said...

What pure DELIGHT! Thank you for this little taste of spring, Bee! We are very much covered in snow here in southern Norway--snow as far as the eye can see...LOL! Winter is often dully, gray and fog... I can't wait to do some somersaults through the tulips. :o) Happy Weekend!

steven said...

bee my eyes got bigger and biger as i waded in deep into this spring-filled collection of images and words. thankyou thankyou! our turn will come soon but for now i'll take this!! steven

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Hold on to those thoughts! Spring is coming! It is in Texas now so you'r not far behind. xo jenny

Lisa said...

How pretty it is! Every year I am once again surprised by the zip I feel from the first burst of yellow narcissus and forsythia, the unique scarlet of the quince and even as I drove across Georgia this weekend, flowering trees flowering!

After the gray, the colors are so welcome.

Plantaliscious said...

How utterly glorious - both snowdrops and bank-rolling! Interesting that it truly has been a gloomy two months, that its not just in our collective imaginations. Daffodils and crocuses help but for all the "paving of flowers" I so long for a sunny day. Currently promised for Friday, which is also my birthday, so almost guaranteed to rain!

Dick said...

A cheering and hope-inspiring set of words and pictures, Bee. There's nothing like that proliferation of snowdrops up this way yet. Maybe it has to make its collective way around the M25, which would account for the delay!

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Alyson (New England Living) said...

Spring always arrives in old England before New England and I always love coming here to see that before we get our first glimpse. Especially this year. It's March and there is still snow on the ground and that is highly unusual in Connecticut.

Thanks for the reminder that spring will soon be here!

Beeswax said...

Lovely! And moving to Oxford! SO exciting!

elizabethm said...

I love spring, even early spring, even false spring! I don't care if it will rain and blow and freeze tomorrow. Enjoy the sun when it shines.

Cait O'Connor said...

All so beautiful Bee.
Love the word mudluscious btw,
Yes I have been listening to Bird Cloud on Radio 4, I love that American accent (southern?). Listened this morning with my head in a bowl (steam!). Unfortunately out of whiskey.

Dave King said...

What a fabulous place! And your post does it justice, I can tell. Next best thing to being there. Many thanks for sharing the experience.

Dave King said...

I'm not sure if my comments got through or if I missed out something! Just to say that you have shown us a brilliant place - brilliantly!

Lucy said...

I so miss snowdrops, they don't really grow round here anywhere. Our wild daffs are well on the way though, which is early. I can quite believe we've gone short of sun, it was beautiful today, one of those crisp very early spring days of veiled sunshine, and it made such a difference!

WV 'plodisho', which sounds like something to do with mudluscious!

Kelly H-Y said...

Mudluscious! Love it! Beautiful, uplifting pics.

Amanda said...

those snowdrops are luscious, i could just lie down and fall asleep amidst them. wonderful fotos, bee. and i'm all for 'sunny intervals'!

Cottage Garden said...

... mudluscious - I love that! I shall remember that on my next walk in the muddy woods.

Bee, I love this post. The photos and prose are charming and oh so true.

We have friends in Marlow and have visited Welford Park many times. A lovely place.

I notice my namesake has left a comment, I just have to pop over and say hello!!


Merisi said...

What a wonderful place you took me to this morning, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have been so busy lately (I had to present my thesis exposé yesterday), I have not had the time and peace of mind to leave my desk long enough for a hike in the woods. I have heard there are snowdrops blooming.

Wishing you sunshine, today and for the new week,