Sunday, February 13, 2011

Better than a Groundhog

Whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not, as we all know, is an extremely important factor in predicting the arrival of spring. There are other factors, too. A better predictor than the groundhog is the arrival of the first blooms of the year.

Growing up in Kentucky, I came to expect spring flowers to bloom in a certain order. First you had your snow crocus, than your giant crocus, followed by fragrant hyacinths, then daffodils and finally, tulips. The order was the same year after year after year.

Here in Athens daffodils almost always bloom before crocus. I suspect it has something to do with the ground temperature. This year it's been unseasonably cold. My daffodils are up but nowhere near blooming.

Winter this year has been an Athens version of those I remember from Kentucky. We've had 14 inches of snow so far. Unlike my pals in Lexington, I can wear shorts and t-shirts outside at least a few days a month which makes the cold spells a lot easier to take.

Apparently I'm not alone in my belief about our winter. The very first flower of the year in my garden is a snow crocus. This little yellow snow crocus was joined by two more blooms a few hours later.

By next weekend I'll have daffodils blooming, too. But for now, the only color in my yard comes from three tiny little snow crocus. They are beyond a doubt the most beautiful blooms I've seen in months!

Starting the season with snow crocus reminds me of Lexington. It will likely be a few weeks before snow crocus bloom in Kentucky. Until then, here's one from...

The Crotchety Old Man

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