My first daffodils bloomed yesterday—though they could have been jonquils. Daffodils?Jonquils? I've never quite grasped the difference. I know that all jonquils are daffodils—that is to say they are both narcissus—but not all daffodils are jonquils. Which is which, I dunno. But my mother did. She always said her daffodils bloomed first. The ones she called jonquils sported smaller blooms than the flowers she identified as daffodils—and were very fragrant.
Whichever these are, they're located on the steep, rock-strewn hillside between the cottage and the road—a sort of tangled border, almost a thicket, with lots of trees, which I allow to remain wild and do nothing to maintain other than lop out some of the honeysuckle. A few bloodroots grow here, and even fewer jack-in-the-pulpits, along with the ubiquitous blue violets. But I wouldn't have expected these daffodils to bloom first. Instead, my money would have been on a small planting of the same species near the south side of the cottage. Usually it's these bulbs, protected from winter's winds and warmed by heat radiated from the cottage's stone wall, that poke up the first green shoots—sometimes amid patches of snow—and later, unfurl the first butter-yellow blooms.
This year, however, for whatever reason, the rowdy hillside bunch took the honors, gleaming like shards of sunlight come mid-morning. The laggardly cottage patch didn't show their yellow blooms until late afternoon.
We've had a a bit of rain before dawn, as well as a few light showers throughout the morning—though none in the last hour. In fact the sun is now out. I don't think we'll make it above 60˚F today; certainly we'll not enjoy a repeat of yesterday's 72˚F high. However, after a long winter—with rain expected for tomorrow and snow flurries predicted for Thursday—none of us riverbankers are keen on wasting such outside time. A song sparrow is whistling merrily. The squirrels are busy chasing about and squabbling over sunflower seeds. A couple of kingfishers are working the river. And just a few minutes ago a pair of Canada geese plucked their way through the corner of the yard visible from my workroom window.
I need to get out there and take advantage of whatever good weather the day serves up—doing more raking and clean-up in the back yard or in the small patch beyond where the drive slants down the hill, and which has been sorely neglected for too long. It's part of this year's yard plans to get this landscaped and planted. Who know? It might even happen.