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Monday, January 21, 2008

The first primrose of spring

Yesterday I saw my first primrose of this spring. By any standards 19th January is early, but as far north as Cumbria, it seems exceptional.

My first primrose of spring invariably makes my heart skip a beat. It reminds me of my all-time favourite novel, Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore. There is one particular passage that I know by heart, the occasion when John Ridd first sets eyes on Lorna; my favourite passage in my favourite book. Here it is:

"I had never heard so sweet a sound as came from between her bright red lips, while there she knelt and gazed at me; neither had I ever seen anything so beautiful as the large dark eyes intent upon me, full of pity and wonder.

And then, my nature being slow, and perhaps, for that matter, heavy, I wandered with my hazy eyes down the black shower of her hair, as to my jaded gaze it seemed; and where it fell on the turf, among it (like an early star) was the first primrose of the season.

And since that day I think of her, through all the rough storms of my life, when I see an early primrose."



Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Shucks Maalie, you are just an old romantic at pump.


9:52 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

You sure are! The llama has you sussed!
I don't want to hear about spring about there thanks. I want to moan about summer heat for weeks more here!

10:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're losing the plot! Get a grip! Come back Darwinism all is forgiven...

11:31 am  
Blogger Merisi said...

Very sweet. :-)
I saw snowdrops last week.

11:36 am  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

This pic made my heart skip a beat too, I love snowdrops and aconites, but woodland cyclamen are my favourite. This is a lovely place I hope to visit soon to visit some woodland spring flowers, the churchis fabulous too:

3:04 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

And a right perfect use of the word too!

A lovely and moving post as now I shall have to put that book on my list of ones to read. The quote made me rather sad that I was blong and blue!!, well, white now I suppose.

I do so wish that there were signs of spring here - it has been 0F+/-10 degrees here for the past several days - it will warm to the mid teens F today so that it can snow tonight.

Ah, the experiments - I know it should just be expertise, but I'd take a bit of luck these days to as the grant funding has been so very poor that I am in quite a bit of trouble with my new chairperson. I should be doing the experiment with 3H anyway but did not renew my license when I moved to Illinois from Missouri so am now using a mitochonrial converted dye protocol that approximates 3H incorporation for determining proliferative effects of certain botanicals on immune cells - prelim data for new grants to go in next week. So, back to work for me!!

I have left you another comment at bluecollar, if it has not been deleted. If it has, let me know and I will post it here.


4:47 pm  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

As you may know, Lorna is from my neck of the woods and just lives around the corner. The last time I passed the little Ford and houses where the book was based upon was after an 18 mile night march and i ran through the ford to cool my poor worn feet... ouch.

I love that piece of verse, I have the book but have never read it so perhaps I should.

5:09 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

When Maalie was a young lad we used to fish the trout out of that stream, and he used to use bread as bait.

6:46 pm  
Blogger Metamatician said...

That was quite amorous, Maalie. I shall never look at a primrose the same way again.

I thought there were still wooly mammoths up in Cumbria? I hope your flower doesn't get trampled.

7:55 pm  
Anonymous May said...

That was a lovely primrose accompanied by nice verses!

8:08 pm  
Blogger Magdalene said...

Aah beautiful, and almost coincidental because my first sighted snowdrop of Spring has just raised it's tiny face in The Weirdo's garden. I tried to photograph it today but it was too windy.

9:35 pm  
Blogger donsands said...

That's quite a remarkable place to live close to, Duddon Estuary. Quite beautiful. You've been blessed.

Since you were so kind as to stop by my blog, I thought I'd come over and see yours.

Very nice indeed.

Have a nice evening.

1:17 am  
Blogger simon said...

gawd!.... I felt like that once... then I discovered beer....

I am with Carwyn on this mate.. you need a trip into the desert either here or in Africa!!

4:54 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Maalie..... apparently the Sherpa name for Hillary translates as "a man with a big heart". Do you think this might mean he ate a few primroses in his youth?

8:32 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

NO Kiwi!! It is translated as the man with the big blood pump.

9:33 am  
Blogger Viking Warrior said...

Nay, yon Edmund Hillary was but a Viking Warrior.

11:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very beautiful primrose sighting.

3:26 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I love that prose too, very romantic.

5:44 pm  
Blogger Merisi said...

The fly caught up with you. ;-)))

6:12 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Oy... he wasn't a Viking Warrior... he was a KIWI, truly a Kiwi!

6:40 pm  
Blogger Merisi said...

I was quite relieved when I realized it was not me who's "getting a bit dusty around the head."
(Aren't you impressed by the wildlife around here?)

I was hoping for some close-up shots of the flamingoes!

11:08 pm  
Blogger Viking Warrior said...

A Viking Kiwi young woman

2:45 pm  
Blogger somepinkflowers said...


such romance,

but then
if you can quote
from *lorna doone*
i would expect nothing less...


here in the states
we have a cookie called
~~lorna doone~~
i can never quite figure out why...

what do you think?
it is a buttery shortbread sweet...

here are >>somepinkflowers<< to you
for sharing the primrose photo.

have you ever snapped a prim-and-proper-rose?
was just wondering...

3:25 pm  
Blogger Magdalene said...

Lorna Doones. Yes I remember being puzzled by those when I lived in the USA. Bizarre really, I mean you don't get 'Robinson Crusoes' or 'Dick Turpins' do you? Incidentally, I never ate one.

8:31 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

I looked up the receipie (hell, I can never spell that word, it doesn't look right) on the internet. I fancied making some for Easter (Oooops, I mean the Equinox) but I see it's a commercial product.

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments.

8:44 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I can't sleep for some reason, I've had too active a day and can't switch my mind off, so hi, hope you are well.

12:01 am  
Blogger Metamatician said...


This from a man who rattles off 'stratocumulus' and worse without a second thought.

Sometimes the short words without obvious Latin or Greek elements to them ARE the toughest, though.

12:11 pm  
Blogger Metamatician said...

Is the area right before you get to the county of Cumbria calle the Pre-Cumbrian area?

1:48 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Pictures of lovely birds please - preferably colored ones or really little ones, I like those best. Let's see, what the the most unusual you've ever caught - or your favorite - yes, yes, I would like a post on birds please (althought more flowers would be lovely too, anything that shows life and the beauty of nature)

I'm weary of grant writing and the deadlines aren't even here yet and it's so bloody cold here, -3F this morning, not to count the wind chill, though at least we have sun today after more snow.

8:11 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

broken pumped at your most recent message

9:39 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Maalie, I still haven't seen any primroses, have a lovely weekend.

9:44 pm  
Blogger simon said...

broken pumped at your last message!

ahahah! thats good! (not that its broken.. but that you called it a pump)

9:35 pm  

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