Thursday, April 17, 2008

Flora and Fauna of Regency Britain - April


One thing it does in England in April, it snows. It snowed over Easter at the end of March and again on the day we left in April. So that is one thing to keep in mind, while the grass is green and the fruit trees were in blossom, they were covered in snow.

The Naturist from 1817 has this to say about April.

Many and lovely are the flowers which are showered, in profusion, from
the lap of April which adorn our fields, at this time:Among them are the checquered daffodil (fritillaria meleagris); the primrose; the cowslip (primula veris); the cuckoo flower (cardamine pratrensis); and the hare-bell
(hyacinthus non scriptus). The yellow star of Bethlehem (ornithogatum
luteum) in woods; the vernal squill (scilla verna) among maritime
rocks; and the wood sorrel (oxalis acetosella), are now in full flower.





I certainly saw primroses on all the banks. They are a protected flower. I also saw cowslips and daffodils aplenty.

Indeed the first picture through the window, is of daffodils in the snow. And the second a bank on the roadside covered in primroses. I realize as I type this, that both of these flowers are yellow.




So to complete the picture for April, I will show you a cowslip. Now it is an odd name for a wild flower, but it is a pretty flower and a countrified name. Perhaps more importantly are its herbal qualities. It is used medicinally as a diuretic, an expectorant, and an antispasmodic, as well as for the treatment of headaches, whooping cough, tremors, and other conditions. However it can have irritant effects in people who are allergic to it. It was also made into wine.

Willow trees start to show their green leaves, as do birch trees at the beginning of the month. The larger trees come into leaf by the end of April when wild violets also appear.

And that is it for this week, except to show you what Toronto looked like when we left for England. Teaser was not impressed when he tried to go for a walk.

Until next time, when I will be sharing some of the sights I visited on this last trip, Happy Rambles.