Friday, 3 February 2012

Snowdrops and Crocuses

After the cold and dark season has set in, it is always a pleasure to spy the first fresh flowers when they pop up. These flowers are not a Sign of Spring, rather an indication that Winter is progressing in its customary way; giving us faith that the light and warmth will eventually return.
Snowdrops in Winchester, Near the Cathedral
Snowdrops are usually the first and traditionally show their pretty white faces in clumps or drifts from January through February, I did even notice some last year in December. They are often found in churchyards or in hedgerows by fields. Galanthophiles (snowdrop fanciers) eat your hearts out!
Snowdrops in Salcombe, Last December!
The next flower to show is the colourful crocus adding a vibrant tinge to roadside verges and parks through February; this makes a pleasant change from the ice, frost, mud and cabbage with which the month is normally associated (Northern hemisphere).
Beautiful Crocuses on the Verge
Crocuses come in many hues; amber, yellow, white, cream, purple and mauve are common. Often one welcome swath of colour will be gradually replaced by another, giving an animated show, handsome enough to make my chilly, daily cycle-ride into work almost worth all the effort.
A Dew Drenched Ivory Crocus
The spice Saffron, frequently used to season and colour curries, is made from the dried stigma of crocuses. This seasoning is exceptionally expensive but I could never endorse the vandalising of these Winter jewels for this use – they give too much visual pleasure.

This Will Look Different Today; It's -5 deg C and I'm in Bed with a Temperature ;-(

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