Very Late Snowdrops

Very Late Snowdrops

26 March 2014
Almost made it to 60 on Saturday, only to be beat back down to 25 on Sunday. Still, at least we had...snowdrops!

According to legends, snowdrops were created by an angel who took pity on Adam and Eve as they were expelled from Paradise into the snow, and transformed the snowflakes into flowers as a promise spring would eventually come. Well, he certainly has plenty to work with this year.

Most snowdrop lore is associated with the feast of Candlemas, the Purification of the Virgin, when her image was removed from the altar and snowdrops spread in its place. And bringing a bowl of snowdrops into the house on Candlemas was said to give the house "the White Purification."

So what's wrong with this picture? Beyond the fact that Candlemas was Feb. 2, I mean? Granted, it was bad luck for any girls who were hoping to be married to pluck snowdrops before St. Valentine's Day, but that hurdle's safely passed. And BTW, for all you gentlemen who sprang for roses for your ladies, St. Valentine's flower is actually a violet, which, according to legend, he found growing outside the cell where he was imprisoned, and crushed in order to make ink with which he wrote notes to his friends on the flower's leaves, which were by all accounts delivered by dove. We're past St. David, too, regardless of whether you believe he's the saint of leeks or of daffodils. We're past St. Patrick and his shamrock, too. Not to mention St. Joseph with his staff miraculously flowering with lilies. But that's the point, isn't it? It's almost April, we're supposed to be past the days of flowers being miraculous... although I suppose you could look at it that this is our reminder that all flowers are miracles. Wonder if I'll remember that on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene in late July, when I'm cursing the Japanese beetles, groundhogs, watering timers that always seem to break, and the heat?

© - Erica Obey
Photos © - George Baird