The Last Week of Winter, in Bloom

Two Mondays ago, March 8, when I went to put away my trash can, I noticed the witch hazel. I noticed it by scent–it’s a wonderful scent–a little spicy, but neither heavy nor overwhelming. The plant is a good 50 feet from the sidewalk. In the light of morning, I noticed that its flowers are all going wah hoo! The petals are sticking straight out.

Witch hazel celebrating the warm sun. Photographed on March 9, 2021.

Late Winter Flowers That Precede Crocuses

Talk about exploiting a niche! It is not yet reliably above freezing, but the snowdrops have popped up. They erupt in bud and pop open pretty fast.

Snowdrops start out looking up. Photographed on March 9, 2021.

It takes no time for them to bloom.

In full bloom with a little warmth, the snowdrops dangle, and their petals flare. Photographed on March 9, 2021.

Dwarf irises are also reliable, if the rabbits haven’t mowed them down.

Dwarf irises erupt from ground in bud. Photographed on March 10, 2021.

As in many early spring flowers, dwarf iris leaves come up racing the buds.

Dwarf iris buds burst quickly. Photographed on March 11, 2021.

The bud stage doesn’t last long.

As the bulbs divide, small clumps of dwarf irises form. Photographed on March 11, 2021.

Within a week, there are patches of color. OK, white is not really a color, but green is. There are swaths of snowdrops. The squirrels got the final word on where they should be, so there are two big swaths in the northern bed, and a lone pioneer on the south side of the house.

The swaths of snowdrops are getting larger. Photographed on March 18, 2021.

The Crocuses Arrive

Some of the normally bunny-nibbled plants are surviving to bloom, like these dwarf irises and crocuses. A kid must have gotten into the bulb bins and mixed them up, because I had purchased a handful of  blue dwarf irises. A mix came up. The red-violet ones did well, while the blue ones struggled. Furthermore, squirrels rearrange. Rabbits mow and leave holes.

Two patchy lines of bulbs cross—the yellow crocuses and the dwarf irises. Photographed on March 19, 2021.

Any rabbit here will tell you how delicious crocuses are. The rabbit population has dropped—but there are heaps of bunny berries here and there, and if you look carefully, some signs of nibbling.

The purple crocuses are starting to bloom. The leaves were nibbled before the flower bud came up. Photographed March 19, 2021.

Warmer weather is supposed to be coming, so it’s time to get out and clean up the yard—as soon as I’m done grading papers.