Thursday, June 18, 2009

Flora and Fauna of Regency Britain - June

by Ann Lethbridge

June is my favourite month of the year in Britain. Perhaps because its my birthday month. Perhaps because strawberries are ripe and ready for eating straight from the fields, or perhaps because the weather is warm.

Having returned from England in June, I feel as if I can talk first hand this time, except of course I must beware, because climates change over the centuries. A degree here and a degree there.

One exciting thing that did bloom in June, was the UK edition of The Rake's Inherited Courtesan. What a thrill to see it on shelves in my old home town. Chills down the spine. Must get the pictures up on the website.


Everywhere we travelled were the dog roses in the hedgerows. Rosa Canina. It is the rose of medieval heraldry and the official flower of Hampshire. As you can see, it is a plain single petaled rose that is primarily pink but can also be white, and sometime on the same stem. It has very sharp thorns.

What is lovely, is to see a spray of these, a burst of pink, in the green hedgerow.

I can imagine a man of our time risking bloody fingers to retrieve one for his lady love so she can enjoy their perfume as they walk in the country. Although he should be wearing gloves.

Oh my, I can see just where such a scene would fit in a work in progress. It is amazing where inspiration comes from, isn't it.

Of course, these common little flowers would not be seen in the parks or walled gardens of great houses, but personally I love them.


This bird is a magpie and very much in evidence during our trip. It is as striking bird and there are many superstitions surrounding them.

"A single magpie in spring, foul weather will bring".
The book from which this quote is taken further explains that this superstition arises from the habits of pairs of magpies to forage together only when the weather is fine.

The fondness of all its family for bright objects is well known.

Of course, there were many more sights and sounds to share, but time eludes me as always.

Until next time, happy rambles.