The first sign of Spring

photo of snowdrops by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
Plúiríní sneachta sa ghairdín

Well I don’t mind the month of January, I know that a lot of people do. It’s dark and it’s cold, all the parties are over… not much fun to be had… but in Ireland, I don’t think we can complain about the weather, not when you think of the blizzards in America, the droughts in Africa and the hurricanes and typhoons around the world. It’s true that we had a terrible storm here recently, on the West coast of Ireland, but most of the time, it’s not too hot, it’s not too cold.  You might say that it’s – “reasonable”.

But yes, I’ll admit that it’s dark in January. But then, in the middle of all that dark, there’s one thing that always gives me a boost – and that’s Snowdrops. Every year in the middle of January, they force their way out of the cold ground to greet the new year. They pop up outside the back door, on the way down to my studio and they nod their little heads in the wind and the rain. They’d bring a smile to the grouchiest person (that’s me in the mornings).

By the way, there’s a country estate in Co. Carlow called Altamont which has a collection of over 40 varieties of Snowdrop and every year they celebrate with a ‘Snowdrop Week’ in February. Ahem, it’s still only January but the Snowdrops are already in bloom in our garden in Dublin.

PS: they are called: Plúiríní sneachta in Irish

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