Friday, 10 April 2009

Rosedale's secret

People who visit the North York Moors National Park often (and the Park Authority itself) will wax lyrical about the wild daffodils that grow in great profusion along the River Dove in neighbouring Farndale. People arrive by the coach-load to partake of the Daffodil Walk and finish up supping tea and buns at the Daffy Cafe. Painters set up their easels, cameras flash, children trample and shriek and big notices tell you that they (the daffs, not the children) are protected and that you must not pick them.

But, all I have to do is cross two fields from the chapel (on a public footpath) following the Northdale Beck and there they are...Rosedale's very own wild daffodils. They also grow alongside the Seven. (Rosedale divides into two distinct dales above Rosedale Abbey where the two rivers converge.) And hardly anyone knows about them. No coaches, no river banks eroded by the tramp of day-trippers, just thousands of dainty flowers. There are cultivated daffodils a-plenty in Rosedale of course, in the gardens, on the road verges and in the fields. And they do gladden the heart after winter's deprivations but they seem big, brash and blousy in comparison with their wild cousins.

But I must add a warning. It's difficult to believe but less than five minutes after I took these pictures, I was up to my ankles in a bog. In my attempts to pull my feet out, I fell over onto my knees and hands and ended up plastered in iron-rich mud. That was bad enough but I had my small camera in my right hand at the time. It ended up coated in thick, brown, gloop so it resembled a chocolate camera rather than the slim cream object it should be. Once home and showered, I set to cleaning it up and after two days of sulking because it was cold and wet, it has now fully recovered.

Footnote: an old English country name for the flower is Lent Lilies. I prefer it. Daffodil sounds so...well...Daffy.
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