I’m no gardener, but I doubt this tulip is rare (although the fact that it bloomed before my daffodils does make me wonder). No, what is rare about this photo is that the tulip was captured at sunset. Yes, sunset. In England. I’d begun to think there was no such thing. I don’t know the last time I saw a sunset here, thanks to the nearly unbroken string of cloudy, rainy, or snowy days we’ve had since this time last year. (Just a note: I haven’t seen many sunrises either, and it’s not because I was sleeping the days away.) In the rarest of occurrences, the sun was out all day today, sunup to sundown, with not a cloud to be seen. I figure the meteorological good fortune is a direct consequence of my mom’s arrival from the States; there’ll be only bright blue skies while she’s here, and it’ll be impossible for her to believe that the past twelve months have been nothing but the stereotypical dismal British weather portrayed in every movie ever set in England. I’d forgotten just how good the sun feels and how energizing it can be, even if the temperatures are only in the 50s. I could get used to this. I could practically feel my body synthesizing vitamin D while I was pulling weeds around the tulips this evening. So if the sun shines for the next two weeks, and it looks like my mom is indeed the good luck charm that has brought sunshine to England, then I’ll be begging her to stay until August when we are due to move back to America!