‘when daffodils begin to peer’

wild narcissus

In fact, of course, the daffodils in the garden were ‘beginning to peer’ a month ago, but the ones in the photo are a far more local species.

From looking around the web, I think I’ve identified them as narcissus pallidulus.

What isn’t clear from the photo is just how tiny they are.

The fact that they are as pale as their name suggests, and that the petals tend to curl right back rather than standing out, star-like, around the ‘trumpet’ – which is probably no bigger than a single lily-of-the-valley bell – means it’s quite easy to miss them altogether, although they are now about in their thousands in the pine woods along the river bank.

stars on a stalk


I’ve had this single stalk of forsythia on my desk for several days now, as I found it hanging loose on the bush and thought I might as well cut it off and put it in water.

The flowers were still tightly closed when I brought it in, but I expect they will start to drop within the next day or two.

Each time I look at it, the phrase ‘stars on a stalk’ comes to mind.

It doesn’t strike me as the sort of phrase I’m likely to use in a poem, so it may as well be noted here along with the photo just to brighten things up a bit.

sap rising

Not only rising, but dripping out of the cut ends of the vine branches and leaving a puddle on the porch roof and damp spots on the stones of the patio.

sap rising in vine

It’s hard to believe that wounds made when pruning three months ago should not have healed over yet, but that seems to be the case.
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pruning, ploughing and punning

plum blossom close up

For the last week, the skies have been almost solid grey and the drizzle has only been interrupted by intermittend torrential rain and the occasional thunder storm. This has all come while the plum trees have been in full bloom, so I imagine we may not get much fruit this year as there have been few insects around to pollinate.
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mardi garden

The cats are twitterpated: lords and ladies
of misrule, they squeal like St Martin’s pigs
in their carnal carnival. Birds’ nests burgeon
in the hedges and, on the early apricot,
a choir of ruby buds swells, ready to burst
into scented song.

More “notes for a poem” than a finished poem, I think. And they were notes taken several years ago.
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