Well howdy there…welcome to the first Friday of February (say that fast ten times). Once again we’re joining our Nature Friday weekly hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on their link to see what they and others around Blogville have discovered in nature this week.
Despite the Groundhog supposedly seeing his shadow earlier this week predicting six more weeks of winter, it’s been pretty mild in the Mile High, so much so that any lingering snow from the latest storm has now melted away. That means it’s back to the season of drab brown for the most part.
But there’s hope. I’ve begun to notice little sprouts poking through the soil here and there. While walking the Ranch hands a couple of days ago, I was rewarded by a small cluster of blooms. One of my favorite of the spring bulbs, crocuses are a member of the iris family and are native to woodlands, scrubs, and meadows from sea level to alpine tundra in North Africa and the Middle East, central and southern Europe (and in particular Krokos, Greece), as well as across Central Asia in western China. Typically thought of as a spring bloomer, crocuses (or croci if you prefer) bloom in spring, summer and autumn. Did you know the spice saffron comes from the stigmas of Crocus sativus, which is an autumn-blooming species?
Crocus come in a variety of colors but typically are found in shades of lilac, mauve, yellow, and white and may show a white central stripe along the leaf axis. Seeing them bloom in snow is not uncommon, especially here in Denver. I almost missed this cluster, my brain initially processing it as merely a small piece of paper blown near the base of a nearby shrub.
They seem so delicate and yet, these little guys are quite hardy so I’m really glad I stopped to more closely examine this little spot of color instead of just breezing by without a closer look. Seeing this little beauty reminded me that spring can’t be too far away. In fact, I’m just guessing just about six weeks. Do you think that furry, overweight prognosticator is an accurate predictor of spring’s arrival or is it merely coincidental with the calendar’s announcement that spring officially arrives March 20th? Put me solidly in the calendar camp as being more accurate. I just don’t trust rodents to predict the arrival of seasons.
Any signs of spring in your ‘Hood yet? The Ranch hands and I hope you have a lovely Friday and an even better weekend. Don’t forget to stop and savor even the smallest spots in nature. You’ll no doubt be well rewarded.
Live, love, bark! 🐾