Friday, March 20, 2009

galanthus nivalis on the first day

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Spring happened this morning at 7:44 on the riverrim. It was a chilly morning, snow showers heralding the arrival.

The snowdrops on the lawn are up, but not really open. They are a pretty little flower, but to really appreciate them, I think you must be a fairy, or at least a bee. Otherwise, you have to sit on the ground to admire them. And the ground is still pretty cold this time of year....

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snow drops, virgin flower, snow piercer, winter gallant, firstling, blackbird flower, little snow bell, little white bell, baby bell, spring whiteness... Galanthus (greek in origin and signifies milk or milk white)... Nivalis (a Latin adjective...relating or resembling snow...)

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Conflicting lore surrounds this flower. Some say it represents purity, hope and protection. But there are some superstitions that associate it with danger.

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Whatever you do, don't pick it and give it to someone of the opposite sex (to do so would mean you wish to see the recipient dead)...and don't bring any inside.....

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A single snowdrop growing in the woods portends bad things! No worries here, this one came from a very large patch of snowdrops!

All lore and legend aside, snowdrops are the first flower to bloom around here. I can smell them when I step out my door, and I like them. I've seen bees and other insects visiting them, so I'm glad they have some pollen for the early feeders!

Happy First Day of Spring! Schwwew! WE MADE IT!

15 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hadn't heard many of these names and stories about the SNowdrops. I am always thrilled to see them in the garden because I know that warmer weather will be right behind them. I haven't seen a bee around here yet. Kind of scary.

Tam said...

Lovely flowers! Now I know what I have to look forward too....I planted snow drops last Autumn and they are just poking through the dirt now...hope to see you soon :-)

Jody said...

I don't think I've ever seen Snowdrops but they are very pretty with the green inside. I always choose flowers that have a scent for my 'garden'.

pacalaga said...

Maybe they're like unicorns, beautiful and innocent unless you're not the right type of person...?
I think to have snowdrops one must have snow, and alas, I have none.

Judy said...

Like you I wasn't sure we were going to have Spring! Is it just that we are getting older that winter seems to last longer every year?

Leslie Shelor said...

Spring is behaving a bit reluctantly here but I have hope! Lovely pictures!

DebbieB said...

Lovely! I'm glad you have flowers. :)

Valerie said...

No snow drops here....

I wonder if they are poisonous hence all the dark lore surrounding them?

Our earliest wild flowers (on our lot) are trout lilies and bloodroot. No sign of them yet.

Sharon said...

Yay for spring!

Pat K said...

Beautiful pictures. Such a new perspective to see them on a level perspective, rather than just from above. You definitely have an artist's eye!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Beautiful! And I think it might be fun to be a tiny fairy every once in awhile.

elizabeth said...

Very pretty! I suppose you know how cold the ground was, in order to get those pictures! :o)

Leigh said...

What lovely photos. I've never seen this one in the wild. They sure are pretty.

Artis-Anne said...

They are lovely flowers and a great herald for Spring as you say. In Welsh Snowdrop is Eirlys ; Eira means snow and was my Mam's name too :)

sarah said...

Our snowdrops are finished and setting seed! Now the daffodils have taken over, and the flowerheads of my favourite Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier' are *just* visible, scarlet treasures still hidden in the folds of green leaves.

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