Delightful Daffodils

Since I can’t go anywhere at the moment without coming across daffodils I thought I would stay with the daffodils theme and also frankly I just can’t see enough of them. The daffodil story is also a good one so it works on a number of levels for this blog.

There seem to be variations of the Greek myth but generally the story goes that one day when Narcissus was tired and thirsty from hunting he came across a lake with water like silver. He knelt beside the lake and stooped down to drink, and saw his own image in the water. He stood gazing with admiration at his own beauty and fell in love with himself.

He was so entranced by his beautiful reflection that he returned daily and one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the Narcissus. Daffodils are named in honour of Narcissus. Initially I felt a bit sorry for him but since he had a reputation for shunning nymphs and maidens I felt he was rather fortunate to still get such a lovely flower named after him.

For the purposes of description, the daffodil is divided into two regions, the perianth (petals) and corona (cup). Although we usually picture the larger trumpet-flowered cultivars there are a variety of daffodil types. The petals are mostly yellow or white but there can be several variations in colour and size.

Since daffodils are popular as cut flowers and as a cultivated plant, thousands of cultivars have been bred by hybridizers and today cultivars have brightly coloured cups which may be yellow, white, pink, orange, red, green or a combination of these. I have encountered quite a bit of variation in the flowers both in their petals and cups when taking photographs.

The story of Narcissus did not end with his demise and it is said that upon his death the goddess of the forest appeared and found that the fresh water lake had been transformed into a lake of salty tears. The lake was sad because she could see in the depths of his eyes her own beauty reflected. So the moral is that we see the reflection of ourselves in the eyes of others we interact with and if we’re lucky – we will see something beautiful.

Vanessa Lee Thomas

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