Saturday, 1 May 2010

Song on May Morning

Last night we had rain. Dust dry fields and cracked earth drank in the warm rain brought by a South West wind. Billows and sheets of cloud in shades of grey passed over us all day, shading the green land and sometimes bringing showers. In this slow, late spring, leaves are darkening and flowers break from buds in the soft light. A wet-coated vixen sneaks in through a gap in the field fence and roots for grain beneath the bird table. The air is a riot of birdsong, Forest ponies crop the new grass and swallows swoop for flies across a grey, damp May Day sky.

Bright leaves of hawthorn up in the high hedge, but the May blossom buds are tight as spring has been so late this year.

First buds of elder.....
.........while blackthorn blossom now is almost over.

Bright rhodedendron, President Roosevelt, shines its first flowers.

While the small blue flowers of creeping ivy hide among cleaver and ground elder in the rain.

Feathery flowers of ash against grey sky.

Willow catkin on magnolia flower.

White Magnolia stellata flowers against emerging buds of purple lilac.

Last year, this old azalea nearly died. Pruned hard back, it surprised us this spring with vivid new flowers. A survivor.

Somewhere among these redcurrant flowers, a bumble bee buzzed and droned, maybe drinking rain from the leaves.

Bluebells and fresh striped leaves of gardeners` garters.

I have posted these for Mornings Minion . This is a three year old shrub, Vibernum Carlesii, which looks so much like one now flowering in her new Kentucky garden. The buds are a much darker shade of pink before they open.

Among the late narcissi, the Mole is back!

Song on May Morning

Now the bright morning star, dayes harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The Flowry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow Cowslip and the pale Primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth and young desire,
Woods and Groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and Dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early Song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

by John Milton (1608-1674)


Morning's Minion said...

Yes! That is the very plant which blossomed here two-three weeks ago. The buds were a deeper salmon-pink than the opened flowers--and with a spicey scent. The leaves opened a dusty, muted green, which has since deepened to an olive green.
Several local people who saw the bush referred to it as "snowball." I disagreed [probably shouldn't argue with the locals!] as my late father cherished a shrub in Vermont which he called "snowball." That shrub--possibly also a variety of viburnum, had coarser, darker green leaves and a larger petaled white bloom. I've seen them here in KY on lawns, coming into bloom about ten days after the viburnum carlesii faded.
I used to know the botanical names of many garden and wild plants--hopefully with renewed use, some of them will light up my brain. I enjoy knowing both the "correct" names of plants and the local names.
Your May Day photos are lovely, as are the words of Milton--the joy of springtime stays strong through the centuries.

Angie said...

I loved the description at the beginning ...painted a wonderful picture for me to see.
Thanks for letting me share your moments, as I view your photographs.

Goosey said...

Lovely pictures and very 'nice' to see the mole back.

ChrisJ said...

Hmmm. Thought I knew most of John Milton, but haven't come across this before. Love the primroses and cowslips thrown from her lap!