Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The First Sign of Spring by Linda Hope Lee
    
     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
      This little flower has quite a history. The first known image of the crocus is a fresco dating back to Minoan Crete, which shows the flower being harvested to make saffron.
     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


     The flowers I see on my walks will bloom for weeks yet, giving me plenty of time to enjoy them.
     What harbingers of spring do you find in your neighborhood?


19 comments:

  1. While most of our area is drought stricken and not doing well, during a walk in the park the other day, there was the most beautiful cherry blossom tree in shades of coral and pinks. Absolutely stunning and reminder that no matter how bad things get...there's always hope for new blossoms. :) This post was a nice reminder of how powerful these little plants can be.

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    1. I love the cherry blossoms, too. None showing here in the northwest yet. Wish I could send you some of the rain we're so well known for--and are having in abundance right now.

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  2. Right now, in Phoenix, the oranges are the sweetest you could hope for. Feb is one of my favorite months because of this.

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    1. Fresh oranges - wow, that would be a nice treat!

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  3. I don't see the flowers yet but I see one of my favorite birds more often, the beautiful and sweet Robin. They never fail to remind me that Spring is coming, and whenever I see one I can't help but smile.

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    1. Robins, yes. I'm seeing a lot of those around the northwest, too.

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  4. I don't see crocus down here in Tucson, but many of our spring flowers are coming out. The cassia are in full bloom. When I lived in the northwest, I loved seeing the crocus and tulips come up. I just bought tulips for my table today. I still love them.

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    1. Cassia - I'm not familiar with those. Will look them up. Thanks!

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  5. Hi, Linda :) I used to love crocus when I lived in a warmer climate! Now, we'll have snow for another month and sometime in early May - Tulips and daffodils which are my favorite spring flower :)

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    1. Snow - we've had it twice this year. I hope that's all, too. Yes, tulips and daffodils - love them. There's a tulip festival a few miles from here that's a great place to see them.

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  6. The daffodils are in full force at my house! And many of the birds are back and singing (of course, we have a severe drought here)

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    1. Daffodils - wow. None here yet. Hope you get some rain soon.

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  7. We got another three inches of snow last night, so we're not seeing many flowers in Michigan right now. But I'm with Karen and her love of tulips. There's something so hopeful about them!

    Welcome to Heartwarming, Linda!

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    1. Yes, I love tulips, too. I planted bulbs years ago that still come up each spring. No sign of them yet, though. Thanks for the welcome! It's nice to be here.

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  8. Linda, I love tulips. We have other flowers here in VA that indicate spring has arrived...the daffodils...my fruit and ornamental cherry trees in bloom...but there's something about tulips. Of course, no sign of spring yet. We keep getting snow and right now it's freezing rain.

    And btw, your artwork is gorgeous! I visited your website and I'm so impressed with how talented you are!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Rula. Glad you like my artwork. I do love drawing and painting, and of course, writing books, too. So much to do, so little time!

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  9. My forsythia bush is in bloom, and my neighbor's camillias are showing little pink faces.
    It's coming! It's coming!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Muriel. Camellias, yes! I have a tree in the backyard. Haven't checked lately to see if it's budding yet.

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  10. Here in Chicago, the snow is making me wish for spring like never before! I love when everything starts turning green. Don't get me wrong, I love the pretty flowers, but the first green buds on the trees always make me happy! Welcome to the blog, Linda!! xoxo

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