Snowdrops are starting to appear everywhere. Some people say that they are not really locals at all. The original plants, possibly, came over from Europe and the Middle East sometime in the 1600s, or they might have come earlier than that – when the Romans needed a little bit of winter colour in the villa garden, perhaps. Then, they might have just made their own way across the narrow strip of sea water some time after the last Ice Age. No one seems to be sure.
It makes you wonder. For just how many generations do you need to live in a place before you can think of yourself as ‘a local’. Most humans think that if they were born somewhere – then they are entitled to think of themselves as nationals. Why are plants so different? Surely, if it is growing wild somewhere – then it is a wild flower of that area. Especially if has been growing successfully for a number of years.
The last Ice Age scraped the whole place clean. Pretty much any living thing that we see around us arrived here as a pioneer, and then became a settler, some time after that. Those who could stand our weather, that is.