I was very surprised to see the snake's head fritillaries in flower - the end of March beginning of April feels too soon.
I shall now have to be extra vigilant, their arrival marks the return of the naughty red lily beetle, the bane of any lily growers life.
And then I came to a field where the springing grass
Was dulled by the hanging cups of fritillaries,
Sullen and foreign-looking, the snaky flower,
Scarfed in dull purple, like Egyptian girls
camping among the furze...
Vita Sackville-West (1892 - 1962)
When light slants before the sunset, this is
The proper time to watch fritillaries.
They entered creeping; you go on your knees,
The flowers level with your eyes,
And catch the dapple of sunlight through the petals...
Anne Ridler (1912 - 2001)