Snow and Spring Flowers

Crocus in Snow #1
Despite several centimeters of snow our crocuses are doing well along the south facing flower bed.

Hard to believe with the snow we had last week but here on the west coast spring is definitely in the air. Our domestic hazelnut has produced catkins (so that’s why we’ve never gotten hazelnuts!) and along the south side of our house crocuses are poking through the snow.

Crocus in Snow #2
Each hardy little crocus was surrounded by a small circle of snow-free soil.

I’m not sure if it’s the bright yellow of the flower that reflects the light bouncing off the snow that creates the little pockets of space around the plants but it sure is interesting – the flowers were only open on the one sunny day we had this weekend. I did find one reference that crocuses generate heat by an exothermic chemical reaction. Apparently the flowers and leaves are also covered with a waxy coating which protects them from late snow and frost.

Crocus Detail
A close-up detail of a Crocus flower showing the stamens and stigma – if only this was Crocus sativus, the variety from which saffron is harvested.
Spring Crocuses
Beautiful spring crocuses – should that be crocuses or croci?

What a spectacular way to start the gardening season … in February!

If you’ve enjoyed this post you might want to check out other macro related posts at Macro Monday which celebrates the small weekly.

Macro Monday
Macro Monday