However I suppose the creators of the song could be held to rights under a False Advertising Claim similar to the one that L reliably (and gleefully) informed me last night saw Red Bull settle a $13m payout to customers who didn't, in fact, sprout the promised wings.
I point out (when this discussion inevitably comes round every winter-time and I start singing it loudly all round the house), that the trees are symbolic, chosen to represent life surviving winter as they are both evergreens, and that the song is, in all likelihood, a remnant of a far older pre-Christian time that has suffered the ravages of the years and emerged somewhat denuded as a result. Perhaps there were once entire verses devoted to the Ivy and the title is all that is left of that.
This argument doesn't cut the mustard, so I content myself withing singing the song as often as possible because it affords me enormous (childish) amusement to see my normally calm and unruffled husband ruffled over a song :o)
Ivy gets a bad press today, doesn't it? Folk chop it down, cut it back, generally bemoan its presence in their gardens as a voracious coverer of things they would rather not have covered, and a puller-out of bricks too for Good Measure.
And yet ivy is very important for our wild creatures, being one of the very few plants to bear nectar over the cold winter months when less hardy green people have tucked themselves up to snooze the dark months through, many of them retreating underground into the comfort of the earth and the security of their roots and tubers to do so.
Ivy can mean the difference between life and death for our early bees, and for insects temporarily lured out of their winter sleep by the promise of January sunshine.
It is also the food plant of choice for second-generation Holly Blue flutters.
Holly Blues like Holly (no prizes awarded for that deduction) and this is where you'll find them when they first grace our countryside in late March/ early April. They are the first Blue Flutter to emerge in the Spring and one of the earliest new emergers of all our native species (ie they don't overwinter as an adult but as a pupa).
Yet the second generations that are emerging about now eschew Holly, choosing to swap their allegiance and lay their eggs on Ivy. I had read about this, but I hadn't been fortunate enough to actually witness it in action until last week, when a very beautiful and delicate small silvery-blue fluttery person arrived in our garden and began to lay her eggs on the buds of ivy flowers in our hedge.
She was very gracious about the whole business and allowed me to stand very close and watch her, turning her little head to look at me just as directly. Afterwards I found the eggs (tiny, tiny little blue/ white circles, laid one per flower bud) and counted three. There are probably more as she was also laying high up in the hedge, but I couldn't reach those.
It is entirely possible that this line of Holly Blues has been laying eggs in our hedge for years, but if that is so I have never seen them here before. So, I am counting her, along with the Painted Lady and the Silver Washed, as new members of the Countryside Tales family.
M has been drawn into this fluttery net and has agreed not to cut the hedge back until late September to make certain any eggs have hatched and any pillars pupated, which they do on or close to the ground (mind you, it's usually October before we do that anyway, just in case any bird people happen to be laying late- Ted's pigeons for example). The pupae will then remain there until the Spring when we should get HBs emerging in the garden again, and flying off in search of Holly. I should perhaps also add that we leave sections of the Ivy to flower and provide essential food during the hungry-nectar-gap of the winter months.
HBs are unusual in the Blue Family in that males and females are both blue (often the females of Blue species are brown). The female HBs are distinguished by the black stripe to the wing which is wider in second generation individuals as per my pic above.
The Holly Blue is a Good News Story. It's extending its range Northwards and is generally a Least Concern Species, although populations fluctuate, typically building up to large numbers over a period of years only to crash. This is thought at the moment to be due to a parasitic wasp Listrodomus nynthemerus. As it's a natural cycle, the populations recover.
We've also had an influx of Brimstones back in the garden this week. They are sharing the everlasting sweetpeas with the Leaf Cutter Bees. They did this the year before last but there seemed fewer of them last year- again, probably a natural cycle as we've got them back in droves now....
A few other folks from round the garden...a Mystery Shield Bug, probably an instar but if you know who he is please shout....
A Lead Cutter Bee busy collecting pollen on his tummy....
Our Sunflowers are coming out :o)
Ted having a snooze....
A Soldier Beetle on a Poppy in the wildflower patch...
And our Comma, still hanging upside down pretending to be a nettle flower, but about whom I am becoming Increasingly Concerned because he shows no signs of actually pupating...
I'll leave you with a Small Dog missing her dad and watchfully waiting for him to come back home after cycling... I didn't have the heart to tell her off for the sofa-misdemeanour having listened to the plaintive whistling and witnessed the downcast wandering about the house that preceded it :o)
Hope all are well?