Thursday, 28 January 2016

Snowdrop Season

Benedict Ambrose got up early on my birthday and picked a small bouquet of the earliest snowdrops for me. Beautiful, romantic and cheap! And if the snowdrops are here already, can spring be far behind?

The Scottish Snowdrop Festival begins on January 30 and runs into March. Yes, one of the delightful things about life in the UK is that the first wild flowers appear in January. Snowdrops carpet the woods of various old estates and historical houses, first springing up in patches, and then joining forces to create puddles, streams and whole lakes of humble goodness. The little dears hang their heads modestly; they are sweet.

Scotland is a northern clime, and the sun sets in Edinburgh at about 3:40 PM during the winter solstice. But after that, the days get longer and hope wells up in the Edinburgher heart. By late June the sun hangs around until just after 10 PM.  By February 21, the sun will set just before 5:30 PM. Extra sun plus snowdrops is a great mood-lifter especially after a rainy October-November-December...  Spring begins early in Scotland, and life in the UK makes me realize why June 31 is called "Midsummer."  This really didn't make sense to  me as a Toronto child, for whom "midsummer" must be the end of sweaty July.

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