Just to prove that yes, the weather forecast was sadly right, and it did rain today here in Colonial Williamsburg. But even that couldn't dampen the spectacular colors of these foxgloves - a quintissential flower for old-fashioned flower gardens.
Why the name foxgloves? Here are some interesting suggestions from English botany: or Coloured figures of British plants, by Sir James Edward Smith, James Sowerby, & George Shaw (1814):
"...the name foxglove is a very ancient one and exists in a list of plants as old as the time of Edward III. The 'folks' of our ancestors were the fairies and nothing is more likely than that the pretty coloured bells of the plant would be designated 'folksgloves,' afterwards, 'foxglove.' In Wales it is declared to be a favourite lurking-place of the fairies, who are said to occasion a snapping sound when children, holding one end of the bell, suddenly strike the other on the hand to hear the clap of fairy thunder, with which the indignant fairy makes her escape from her injured retreat. In south Scotland it is called 'bloody fingers' more northward, 'deadman's bells' whilst in Wales it is known as 'fairy-folks-fingers' or 'lambs-tongue-leave'."
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.