Friday, February 29, 2008

The golden daffodil

click photo to enlarge
It's not hard to work out the reason why the daffodil is so popular. When you've gone through the three cold, wet and dreary winter months of December, January and February, along it comes with its big, bold, bouncing blooms, their very yellowness shouting "Spring is coming!"

Up and down the country, in gardens and parks, roadsides and woods, the drifts of yellow bring a smile to people's faces, and focus their minds on the longer, warmer days around the corner. However, these virtues have led, in some places, to a mania for planting daffodils that has caused me, occasionally, to shout "Enough!" In the next few weeks the A6 road between Garstang and Lancaster will be lined by the blooms, each year ever denser as they multiply. And what is charming and welcoming in groups and clusters becomes a little too much when the roadside ranks of yellow stretch for miles. The other virtue of the daffodil - the ease with which it can be grown - has caused it to displace the many alternative bulbs and flowers that also herald spring.

So, today's sharply lit, contrasty photograph of one of the early daffodil blooms from my garden, is accompanied not by an attempt to do down this popular plant, but to make a plea for it to give way for a few more Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa luciliae), cyclamen, Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis), Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) and Fritillary. Perhaps then we can cause a poet to be inspired to verse, as Wordsworth was with daffodils, by banks of Striped Squill (Puschkinia scilloides)!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f18
Shutter Speed: 6.0
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -2.0EV
Image Stabilisation: Off