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At long last, Spring. Everywhere we go, the roadsides and hillsides are splattered daffodils. Thousands of them in their several colors, all along the main roads and down tiny country lanes. It’s spectacular.

Thing is, these things don’t grow wild. They spread a bit on their own, but first someone has to plant them, way out along sheep fields in the back end of nowhere.

The government doesn’t do it. Somebody — really, a lot of somebodies, over a lot of years — dropped a few quid, bought a few bulbs and spent an afternoon digging holes. They did the math and worked out that, for a couple of hours and a couple of pounds, they could do something everyone (selves included) would enjoy year after year.

Multiply that by an army, and you’ll have some idea of the show the daffs put on.

The word “community” is much abused in our time. When lefties use it — and they use it a lot — they mostly mean a group of people who share a grievance and band together to demand redress from the government.

No, this is community — this gentle, anonymous gift.


Comment from Spad13
Time: March 29, 2011, 11:31 pm

Your right about the Dafodils the bulbs will produce flowers for a long time. But not forever alas the ones my mother planted around the mail box gave up the ghost a couple years ago. I hope I remember to do something about that this fall.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: March 29, 2011, 11:44 pm

Ours are already fading.

Not to mention, plant one – get zillions. They multiply like crazy and will grow almost anywhere. On a piece of property we have there are some growing on literally rock, planted well over half a century ago. They soldier on.

I’m interested in our next spring crop.
Best Wicked Witch of the West imitation there.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 29, 2011, 11:51 pm

We grew some proper somniferum last year (legal to grow, not to harvest). They were a bit of a disappointment. They bloomed one day and then dropped petals and made opium.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: March 29, 2011, 11:57 pm

One day?
The weather has to be perfect. Spring and fall. Cool. Any quick temperature change and they’re toast.

Legal to grow, legal to “pick” for decorative purposes.
Air dry slowly, and then accidentally grind them up and drop in hot water. Whoopsies! Well, we can’t let this honey go to waste, can we?

No #11 x-acto blade needed.

Then we got all those California poppies too.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 30, 2011, 12:05 am

You know, I was digging a splinter out of my palm with one of those this morning, Uncle Monkey, and I wondered if #11s were endangered at all. Graphic artists burned through them back in the day…they must’ve seen a gigantic hit in sales when digital came in.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: March 30, 2011, 12:16 am

I thought about that when I brought up Letraset the other day. No, I think that while they probably did take a hit – they’re still mighty useful for crafts and such.

One of my instructors used to make us cut shapes out of the phone book without cutting through to the next page. Back when you used to have to cut film for litho, or frisket paper for airbrush. I still use them frequently as I am left handed and scissor challenged (and have a nice cutting mat).

I actually have a “double endangered” thing on my desk – I still have a bunch of #11 blades, which I keep in a 35mm film can! Probably going on 20 years old now.

Yes, nothing digs out slivers of wood like a fresh, pointy #11.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: March 30, 2011, 1:11 am

“I wandered lonely as a cloud,”

Sorry–couldn’t resist.
[covers face with paws]

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: March 30, 2011, 1:27 am

Glad to hear spring’s finally taking hold somewhere. Mrs. Tiger and I just brought in another big load of firewood and fully stocked the woodstove for the evening. We’re ready for spring.

We’ll get our chance at kicking Old Man Winter to the curb in mid/late April.

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: March 30, 2011, 2:19 am

We have those all over the place here in the American Shire (the Shenandoah Valley) too. I can’t get enough photographs of them. As for spring… well, we were having that last week, but we had snow this weekend, and all week it’s going to be cloudy/gloomy/cold/rain/snow/blech. Oh my sinuses… The daffodils seem to be hanging in there through it all, though.

Comment from Deborah
Time: March 30, 2011, 2:23 am

Oh I remember seeing masses of daffodils in Scotland, late in April. On the road between Campbeltown and Oban. Seems like there was a long swathe near the stone ruins of a chapel, but that’s not an especially useful description in Scotland.

Me—reading the map: “Oh look—here’s Little Standing Stones, and Small Pile of Rocks, and The Old Smithy just around the bend, and White Rocks, and Field of Sheep with Big Standing Stones, Peaty Fountain, the Rock Pile and Fallen Rocks.” Then we got to Dunstaffnage Castle, and there it was: built on top of a Rock for the Ages (complete with Cleft). I was greatly impressed and spent a lot of the Queen’s fine golden coins.

But daffodils were everywhere, and the cattle stood belly-deep in lush emerald grass. Made me feel kinda sorry for those rangy Texas panhandle cows, who never ever saw that much grass, much less that color.

Comment from PJ
Time: March 30, 2011, 2:58 am

Oh, I loved the snowdrops and daffodils and then come the tulips. You’ve made me get all sentimental. I planted daffy’s in my front yard. I hope they’re still there…
Scotland, 1998-2006. Texas since 2006.

Comment from Wiccapundit
Time: March 30, 2011, 3:25 am

The daffodils bloom ’round here in late February, just in time to wear one in one’s lapel for St. David’s Day.

That’s the holiday that celebrates when St. David ran all the lawyers out of Wales.

No, really.

Comment from Dann hebt er ab und!…
Time: March 30, 2011, 3:58 am

Weasels. ”

Rely on their nimble maneuverability. It saved their furry backside about .5 a dozen times.

there is no substitute for Fire Power.
Ask any operator of sixteen inch naval delivery service.

Concealment is fine. So is invisibility. So in “bulletproofness” if any such thing was devised.

An exact placement of ordnance dispels any such myth above.

Comment from Pavel
Time: March 30, 2011, 4:50 am

A lovely post, stoaty.

Comment from dawn
Time: March 30, 2011, 5:52 am

Had to come out of lurking – (I read your blog on google reader and pulse now), because this last line

No, this is community — this gentle, anonymous gift.

was too poetic not to say something. Friggin beautiful, that was.

Comment from geotracker
Time: March 30, 2011, 1:44 pm

Well done. I like when folks take the time to think about things like this…and consquently make OTHERS think about things like this. Makes me want to go plant flowers.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: March 30, 2011, 3:18 pm

Goodness, some interesting spam (by which I mean incomprehensible in a hilarious way) snuck through the filter today!

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: March 30, 2011, 5:43 pm

yep, funny as hell…. his name is… lemme hop over to the universal (google) translator….. “Then he takes off and! …” so yep…. nutty as squirrel poo….

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: March 30, 2011, 6:48 pm

Around here, daffodils are feral.

That is, at some time in the past someone planted them in the yard. The bulbs were fruitful and exponentiated (the step above “multiplied”). A later gardener thinned them out and tossed the excess over the fence, or the rains came and washed some of them into the ditch, or the house isn’t there any more and a plow divided and spread them or… Given the length of time England has been settled and cultivated, one suspects that similar procedures have broadcast the daffodils.

Here, we’re starting to see bluebonnets; of course they’ve been commonplace for weeks further south. One of the disadvantages of industrial civilization is that we become jaded. Our ancestors thought reds and yellows were striking colors, thus appreciation for the Arizona desert, but for us, with screamingly-saturated aniline dyes in every T-shirt, Monument Valley is just rocks and dirt. Blue flowers still catch the eye on the basis of rarity.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: March 30, 2011, 6:57 pm

Mono: Well, it appears to be a line from a song, titled (in English) “Major Tom,” which has been performed in both English and German by German performer Peter Schilling. Pusillanimous one that I am, I refuse to listen to the YouTube versions.

But there was also a pretty hilarious one on the “Steam-Powered Britannia” post from May of 2007 that showed up in the “Recent Comments” list today.

Yeah–I’m easily amused.

Comment from Frit
Time: March 31, 2011, 1:17 am

Mother Nature appears to be going through menopause in my neck of the woods. Supposed to be Autumn. Past few days had a fire going in the wood stove. Then yesterday had the entire house open, was so nice and warm out. Today looks to be another fire day.

I’m not a huge daffodil/narcissus fan. I planted Alyssum in all the blank spots in the garden, and the smell is wonderful! Also, they are doing a lovely job of taking over and choking out the weeds. 😀

Comment from Nina
Time: March 31, 2011, 1:42 am

It was in the mid 80s F here today. Whoof!

Comment from Little Black Sambo
Time: March 31, 2011, 7:28 pm

I think the big garden daffodils along the roads are hideous – nature’s answer to the high-viz jackets that practically everybody has to wear if they want permission to go out of doors. They are the same colour as the fields of rape that send the bees crazy.

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