The British weather makes no allowance for Spring beginning at the equinox on 20th March. This year, on The Wirral Peninsula, it began on 11th April so far as I’m concerned. My test of Spring is the day on which one can set one’s foot on seven Daisies.
I can’t recall who told me it was seven but that was definitely the number I have known for many years. Upon checking it seems twelve was a more common number in the old calendars but perhaps Daisies were more common on those days. As it happens I could just about have managed twelve and I do have small feet!
We can now plant our ‘foot upon nine daisies’ and not until that can be done do the old-fashioned country people believe that spring is really come.
[1863 R. Chambers Book of Days i. 312]
‘It ain't spring until you can plant your foot upon twelve daisies,’ is a proverb still very prevalent.
[1878 T. F. Thiselton-dyer English Folk-Lore i.]
Spring is here when you can tread on nine daisies at once on the village green; so goes one of the country proverbs.
[1910 Spectator 26 Mar. 499]
When you can step on six daisies at once, summer has come.
[1972 Casson & Grenfell Nanny Says 52]
The weather was truly Spring-like and I had a little walk down the Wirral Way at West Kirby. On the lake the birds were enjoying the sunshine.
The coots were building a nest.
A Small Tortoiseshell was flitting about. When I think how common they were in my youth I find it very sad that they are now worthy of remark. We never get them in our garden.
On a happier note, I saw my first Bluebells in flower.