anticipating spring, with small golden cups


It may not be New York's first crocus of spring, but it's something of an event here. On the very first day of March I looked at the plant pots outside our north-facing breakfast room window and was surprised to see several yellow buds had already appeared from within the tight bunches of grass-like leaves I'd been watching for weeks as they pushed above the surface of the soil.

We never have even a sliver of direct sunlight show up on our roof terrace, even around the summer solstice, but last year I had read that flowering bulbs have stored the sun within their corms, and so can be expected to flower the spring after they are planted even if they fail to see it, or feel it, as the days become longer and the soil begins to warm.

Right now however it looks to me that they actually do miss our great golden star: I'm sure I planted white and purple examples as well as gold last fall, and not one of those has shown up yet; also, the dozen or so flowers that have appeared are certainly scrawnier than those seen in better environments, but after this (or surely any) winter, they are certainly welcome, however imperfect.