Hawthorn flowers

Daily Walk in Difficult Times 47

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White blossoms drape the hedgerows all around the village at this time of year. The most common of these flowers belong to the Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), also called quickthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry. The Woodland Trust website says that hawthorn has mythological and symbolic associations: “Hawthorn is a pagan symbol of fertility and has ancient associations with May Day. It was the ancestor of the Maypole and its leaves and flowers the source of May Day garlands as well as appearing in the wreath of the Green Man . . . .  Its blossoming marks the point at which spring turns into summer, and the old saying ‘Cast ne’er a clout ere May is out’ almost certainly refers to the opening of hawthorn flowers rather than the end of the month”. (I wouldn’t dream of going without my vest until the blossoms fall!).

The white sprays remind me of the time I went to a Tate Britain exhibition to see David Hockney’s paintings including Hawthorne Blossom Near Rudston which is a part of the Hawthorn Blossoms series of paintings, along with Hawthorn Blossom, Woldgate, The Big Hawthorn, and May Blossom on the Roman Road. His work received some criticism for the way it represented these delicate flowers so heavily in paint.

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