Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Blooming

Enough of Edinburgh for the moment.  There is much to keep our attention in the hedgerows back home.  The Blackthorn bushes are in full bloom and the Wild Cherry trees are opening their blossoms too.
The grassy places around the lakes of Straw's Bridge are also showing some colour.  This time in the form of the Cowslips (Primula veris).  There are usually Primroses too, but these are not in evidence just yet.  The name 'Cowslip' is a derivation of the old English Cuslyppe which means 'cowpat' from which the flowers seemed to spring up.  They are also known as Paigle, Key Flower, Fairy Cups and Mayflower.  Key Flower seems an even stranger name than Cowslip and comes from a legend which says that St. Peter dropped his keys to heaven and where they fell, Cowslips grew.
Another flower in great abundance at the moment, belongs to the Field Maple Tree (Acer campestre).  These flowers are a bright, lime-green and are held in clusters on the otherwise bare branches of the trees.  The male flowers have 8 stamens surrounded by 5 petals while the female flowers show a forked style.
Maple wood is used for making the back, sides and neck of Violins.
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