Photographer's Note

I dedicate this one to our friend Claude (CLODO) who today presented a fine photograph and in his note referred to the flower "Lily of the Valley" as being a traditional token of good luck in France on the First Day of May. I had to confess that I was unaware of this custom but discovered that it had originated in 1561 by King Charles IX of France.

In Britain, however, the Mayflower - the flower of the hawthorn or Crataegus, also commonly known as quickthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn or hawberry, - has for very long been associated with "May Day" or the beginning of the month of May.

There is a well-known Scottish saying, "Ne'er cast a cloot til Mey's oot" which, roughly translated from Scots means "Never take off any warm clothing until the May flower is in bloom" - in other words until such time as there is little likelihood of cold or severe frost.

But although the blooming of hawthorn is traditionally associated with the beginning of May, there are very few places in Britain where the flowers actually appear before mid-May. And that, of course, became apparent after 1752 when Britain finally adopted the Gregorian calendar which effectively "lost" ten days.

This photo was taken on 8th May last year during one of my regular weekly country walks I have been doing with a group of friends for the last five years - until we were suddenly stopped by Covid-19. I wonder if those wonderful carefree wanderings in the countryside with friends will ever come back?

ISO 400, 1/400 sec at f/8, focal length 55mm.

Here is a link to a larger version of this photograph:

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1985 W: 427 N: 7659] (30513)
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