Galanthus Galore

Venturing off the beaten track this afternoon, by taking a walk through the woods at Dimminsdale Nature Reserve, we were rewarded with this wonderful display of snowdrops, or galanthus nivalis.

A little known fact from the Royal College of Physicians…

‘Not only are the white flowers of the snowdrop a sight to behold, its bulb contains the alkaloid galantamine – approved for use in the management of Alzheimer’s disease in over 70 countries worldwide, including the UK. Extract of snowdrop was noted by the ancient Greeks for its powerful mind-altering effect’.

Snowdrops in the churchyard

Many churchyards in the UK have drifts of snowdrops, a symbol of the Virgin Mary’s purity. At Candlemas candles used to be taken into the church and the altar was decorated with snowdrops. This morning’s spring-like sunshine encouraged these snowdrops to open and very appropriate too as the Newton Solney village church is that of St Mary the Virgin’s Church.

Friday flowers – First signs of spring

Friday flowers – snowdrops.

Two years ago one of my first blog posts was about snowdrops and included the quote “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” The words were appropriate then but are even more fitting in February 2021. Lockdown has made the winter seem very long. Any signs of spring, and the hope and promise of relaxation of restrictions, are welcome.

Last week we were grateful to receive our COVID vaccinations. We attended the Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion Football Club and currently being used as a vaccination hub for the town. The process was everything we could wish for – efficient, well-organised and friendly. We should be offered our second injection by early May by which time spring will be in full swing. For us, this was a sign that better times are sure to follow.

Our few chats and phone calls with others, exchanging pleasantries with fellow walkers in the area and evesdropping on other people’s gossip during our walks show the main topic of conversation is, you’ve guessed it, ‘the jab’. ‘Have you had yours yet?’ (Yes) ‘Where did you go?’ (Pirelli Stadium) ‘Which did you get, Pfizer or Astra Zeneca?’ (Pfizer). ‘Have you got your second appointment yet?’ (No). ‘Did you get any side effects?’ (None at all).

So back to the humble snowdrop. It is often seen as a symbol of rebirth, hope and the ability to overcome challenges in life. The snowdrop can also be a symbol to show sympathy for somebody who is struggling. What an appropriate flower for this current time, so if you are looking for signs that after this long winter, spring is sure to follow, look no further and join us in Snowdrop Wood.