The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring, Tra-la!


MMU flower

Profile view of MMU bloom, Warde Hall in background.

My daughter Amanda posted on Facebook that she is “the very model of a modern major general,” which naturally, in a post about spring, put me in a Gilbert and Sullivan mood.

Well, why not be a bit giddy? Flowers are abloom, sensitive eyes are puffy with pollen, insects fly sluggishly in the cool early spring afternoons and all is starting to get a little righter with the world.

I thought earlier in March that spring would arrive in Iowa as suddenly as other recent seasons have. The seasonal transitions in 2010 seems almost instant—someone threw a switch and summer crashed to a sudden halt as repeated frosts made it clear that autumn was in full force. Then came wave after wave of snow, as the dial got violently shoved to its “winter” setting.

So it seemed a few weeks ago, when March appeared to be settling in as pleasant and warm. Instead, it’s been wet, stormy and, sometimes, snowy.

But, still it is spring. An Iowa spring, which in its first weeks is always a bit of an iffy proposition. The plants that earn their living by blooming early are abloom, but timidly so—there’s been more than a wee nip in the air these past few nights.

The day began with snow flurries. Yet, by midday the sun was bright, and even if it was cool, there is an iris-like flower (don’t know if it’s just a very early variety of iris or a crocus that looks like an iris) already straining to attract the notice of any passing pollinator that might be out for its first meal of the season.

Robin in snow

March 25, snowy morning in Omaha, which this robin does not appreciate.

I present some other winter-to-spring photos. The snowy ones are last Friday in Omaha, showing the world after a spring snow. The squirrel was this Sunday on my back deck—just about out of bird seed and won’t re-stock until fall, the neighborhood dinosaurs have bare dirt and bugs again, so they are on their own. But, before the final seeds are gone, this tree rodent enjoys the bird’s messy eating habit. (It’s not so much a fact as an overwhelmingly supported theory, but birds are apparently surviving theropod dinosaurs, of the same biped dino family as T Rex. I hope T Rex wasn’t as messy an eater …)

Have not photographed them yet, and I hope they don’t fade before I get a chance, but I do have come crocuses that have bloomed and some snowdrops that have worked their way through the thatch of leaves that covers my gardens.

Time to do some yard work. Hooray!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring, Tra-la!

  1. Cate

    I want that flower! It’s gotta be a crocus, I think – way too early for irises. I have some croci that are spotted like that, but none are quite so showy as this.

  2. crgardenjoe

    It could be a crocus, it is too early for Iris, but Iris is a “spring” flower, and I’m just not sure. The leaves look way too Iris-ey to me–Crocus tend to have grass-like leaves and not how “dagger” like the leaves next to the flower are, which are the look of an Iris. Plus, while most Iris bloom later in the spring, different varieties seem to vary in their bloom time, and it’s possible a super-early Iris variety might coincide with crocus. Then again, crocuses, or crocusi, also vary a lot in appearance, and this could be a fancy crocus variety bred to look like an Iris, just like some tulips look like roses. Plants have way too much genetic material and are way too flexible when subjected to selective breeding–well, no, not really, I like this mystery flower too!

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