April Fool's Day

It's amazing the new things you learn by idly browsing Flickr images with a Creative Commons License.

I've just seen this beautiful photo by Robert Couse-Baker of a 1st April harvesting from a tree in Northern California. The tree is locari stultus var.filcrus whose lineage can be traced back to the original vine stock that grew on the shores of Lake Lugano in Switzerland. I'm so glad the photographer and tree owner is happy for this photo to be shared with the world - especially this morning.

In many Western countries, there's a tradition of playing jokes on people on 1 April. In my childhood we were always very strict about only allowing jokes and hoaxes before noon. After that anyone trying one would become the 'April Fool'. 

The BBC usually manages to incorporate an April Fool's Day joke in one of its programmes each year on 1 April. They don't seem to worry about what time of day it is. Perhaps the most famous  BBC April Fool's Day hoax was back in 1957. This was by the makers of the normally sober and serious Panorama when the much respected journalist Richard Dimbleby presented The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. Apparently this fooled a great many UK viewers. I doubt if it would work now. We eat a lot more spaghetti here now than back in 1987. Most of us know it doesn't count as one of our '5 a Day' vegetables and fruit. Or is it 7 or even 10 a day now?

My favourite BBC April Fool is the video by Terry Jones about the discovery of a remarkable colony of Antarctic penguins. Here they are for you to enjoy in 'Flying Penguins'.


  1. Brilliant Nancy. I had seen it before but had completely forgotten how totally believable it was. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. I never saw the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest original - our family had no television then. I seem to remember my father showing me the article about it in The Times the following day.


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