Monday, March 3, 2008

Flora and Fauna of Regency Britain - March

Spring is definitely around the corner for those of us who live in the north part of the northern hemiesphere, but it does seem to be taking its time. Finally, today wehad rain instead of snow, but there is still about afoot of crunchy white stuff on my deck.

March in England. Interestingly enough, I was in my critique group last week and one member said, Oh, you've got a problem here, you have green fields and bare trees. Yes. I said. Thenrealized, that here in Canada, Toronto, our fields are not green in the winter.

I wonder how many readers will be puzzled by that little fact? I don't see how I can go off on a tangent to explain, but I think that this shows why I do these Flora and Fauna columns.

Anyway, the picture above and to the left is the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, taken by me on January 6 2008 across the green fields and showing naked trees. I know, not March, but I think it illustrates the point. I will have some more photos of my January trip later in the month.

As usual, we will take and look and see what our naturalists diary says for March during the Regency period.

One of the thing I recall as a child were the tiny green shoots in the hedgerows in March. The naturist tells us that gooseberry, currant, elder comes into leaf on March 11. My, how precise! But I think this was a one year observation, but you get the general idea.



At the beginning of March, the hedge-sparrow commences its chirping note, as indicative of the approach of the pairing season. A hedge sparrow is different to other sparrows, only in that it has a very tiny beak. It is also known as a dunnock. It looks very much like a house sparrow, but is in fact a completely different family.

And of course March is when we see daffodils. Daffodils were brought to England by the Romans and immortalized by William Wordsworth in 1804. And what better herald of spring with their bright colors.

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


What more can I say, after that. Until next time--Happy Rambles.