for the May Queen

water droplets on blades of grass

I wasn’t up early enough to bathe in the dew this May Day morning, but I did go for a walk later on. The hawthorn is just coming into bloom, so I had a look at what was happening in the hedgerows and elsewhere to celebrate the arrival of the May Queen.

may blossomThe lords and ladies of her court were clearly lined up alongside the path, ready for the procession:

Lords & Ladies - cuckoo-pint

The elm trees had donned their fancy ra-ra skirts and were dancing in the breeze:

elm fruit and seeds - samara

Queen Anne seemed to be a little behind hand with the lace for the royal outfits:

queen anne's lace - cow parsley

And, as well as the usual troupe of ballet dancers, the dandelions seemed to have put on a firework display to honour the occasion:

damp dandelion clock

As I said, I wasn’t up at the crack of dawn, so I can’t be sure whether the water droplets on the grass in the very top photo here are dew drops or rain drops.

I think that I can be certain, though that the second photo is hawthorn blossom, also known as may.

The third is arum maculatum, which, according to Wikipedia is “known by an abundance of common names including snakeshead, adder’s root, arum, wild arum, arum lily, lords-and-ladies, devils and angels, cows and bulls, cuckoo-pint, soldiers diddies, priest’s pintle, Adam and Eve, bobbins, naked girls, naked boys, starch-root, wake robin, friar’s cowl, sonsie-give-us-your-hand, jack in the pulpit and cheese and toast.” – a list that is almost enough to stop me posting this and start to write an entirely different piece.

Next, we have the samara fruit and seeds of an elm tree, though I can’t say whether it’s an English elm or a wych elm. I come from a generation that heard about the horrors of the fungus attacking our native elm trees discussed on the radio and remember a friend at school who had a crush on Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek being distraught when someone told her the series was doomed as the captain’s log had Dutch elm disease.

I’m pretty sure the next picture is Queen Anne’s lace – also known as cow parsley – though, to be honest, there seems to be a lot of confusion and overlap of naming between the white umbelliferous hedgerow flowers.

Finally, a dandelion clock that caught my eye as it seemed to be more sleek and damp and far sharper than the usual fuzzy pompoms.

I believe the May Queen should be welcomed with yellow flowers – symbolising the sun – so here’s a picture of a bee on a dandelion (or similar “damned yellow composite), which I took a week or so ago. I assume she was busy gathering pollen to make the sweets for the coming celebrations.

bee on dandelion flower

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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