Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Snake's Head Fritillaria (Kievitsbloem) in colored pencil - or - Will I see it bloom this year?

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Snake's Head Fritillaria / Kievitsbloem
colored pencils on paper (NFS) 
March, 2012 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands

Many years ago, (before I started blogging), this amazing little plant, the Snake's Head Fritillaria (Fritillaria meleagris), bloomed abundantly in my garden here in Holland - but I haven't seen it bloom again in a very long time.

It certainly seems "happy" where it is right now, with lots of healthy green showing. Maybe it's too healthy?
I don't know ...

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Snake's Head Fritillaria Plant
March, 2012 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands

So I wonder, will it bloom this year???


A Dutch Tradition:
In dutch, a Snake's Head Fritillaria is known as a Kievitsbloem. A Kievit (Vanellus vanellus) is a Northern European migratory bird, that nests in tall grasses in fields or marshlands. The birds' eggs are brownish in color and spotted, resembling the Fritillaria bloom - hence the Dutch name of the flower/plant! In english, a Kievit bird is a called a Northern Lapwing (or Peewit, Green Polver, or simply Lapwing).

In the Netherlands, particularly in the province of Friesland, it's a competitive tradition to be the first to find the Kievit's egg in early Spring - normally from March 1 to April 9. However, since the bird is on the European Union's protected list and it is now forbidden to harvest the eggs in most of Europe, a special dispensation was granted to Friesland to be able to coninue the Eerst Ei (first egg) tradition, but only during the period between March 1 to April 9. Participants are only allowed to harvest up to 15 eggs and the eggs must be authenticated by the Nature Network in Vaassen. So, this centuries old tradition still continues.
In 2012, the first  Kievit's egg (kievitsei) was found on March 10th, in the village of  Oudehaske  in Friesland (the Wikipedia article is in dutch - but there is a map pictured. :o)) ) .


tot ziens,
Judy
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2 comments:

Studio at the Farm said...

Love your drawing, Judy. Your Fritillaria DOES look healthy. I hope it blooms for you this year.
PS - I enjoyed the story about the egg hunt. :)

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thanks Kathryn :o)

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