Several days ago "Miss Eagle" (over at "The Trad Pad") posted a blog around a poem by Catherine Helen Spence, a leading Suffragette and the face on the $5 note. The theme of the post was a search for a suitable name for the in-between season, after the depth of the Australian winter, but long before Spring officially starts. The point is that Miss Eagle is seeing Wattles, Jonquils and early Fruit Trees in flower, in Melbourne - in July.
The issue Miss Eagle was addressing is the appearance of Spring, without any cultural recognition of this reality (this in-between season lacking a name of its own). So, she set out to create a suitable name for this in-between season.
Anni has also posted about a similar seasonal confusion (under the heading: "As giddy as a baby on a swing" - a lovely poetic title).
*****Anyway, to the issue at hand - the search for a name for this season. "Miss Eagle" suggested several possibilities: "The Harbinger" (which sounds nicely poetic) and "Newness" (which doesn't).
I suggested to Miss Eagle that a suitable word might be "Risorgimento" an Italian word, which historically is used to refer to the re-building of the Italian nation. but the word itself means "resurgence". - which I think has the right "feel" to it for this season.
Anyway, I was teasing "Miss Eagle" (privately) about a phenomenon known only to Peony growers (such as myself). But Miss Eagle has challenged me to publish what I told her. So, here goes.
Peonies are plants which are totally dominated by the seasonal change which occurs immediately after the Winter Solstice. As soon as the days start to get longer, the Peonies burst into invisible growth of their roots. Then, 4 weeks later (in Australia) they poke their shoots through the soil. There is an amazing sense of anticipation associated with this burst of growth.
Every year, when this event occurs in America, the lady Peony growers, on email chat lines, etc, get very excited and refer to the Peonies "poking their little pink noses through the soil".
Noses??? Come on ladies, you can do better than that!!!
There is a certain shyness on my part about publicly giving this bud the most appropriate name, which would definitely be gynaecological.
Suffice to say that I am posting a somewhat "clitoral" image to illustrate this story. I am being careful with my words, as I don't want to get "black listed" by "Net Nanny" (again).
I like the term "Anticipation" for this season. If you wish to contribute your experience of this in-between season, or come up with a name for it, feel free to post a comment here, or better still, add your comment at The Trad Pad, where Miss Eagle originally raised the challenge.
*****Here is the finished product - flowers of "Coral Charm". This is what the sense of "anticipation" is all about. (Photos from my "Peony Diary" which Anni kindly hosted for me last year, on her website.)