Each February, on my morning walk I look for a certain first sign of spring. About a week ago, the grass-like leaves popped up, and then, a couple days ago, the delicate purple and white blossoms appeared. The crocuses are here, and now I know that spring cannot be far behind.
|Photo by LHLee|
The flower also figures in the legend of the handsome youth Crocus and the nymph Smilax. Crocus successfully pursues Smilax, but when she tires of him, she bewitches him and turns him into a saffron crocus.
Saffron has been used in perfumes and ointments. Cleopatra used it in her baths. So did Alexander the Great, believing it would heal his wounds.
The crocus is said to have come to the New World in a trunk owned by German settlers. The Pennsylvania Dutch cultivated it and marketed it to Spanish colonists in the Caribbean.
|Watercolor by LHLee|
What harbingers of spring do you find in your neighborhood?