“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? ” asked Percy Shelley. That’s a nice idea, and maybe has some truth to it in England, but the fact is: yes, it can. It can be a long way behind. Winter is no insignificant time in Connecticut. One gets to Spring by enduring arctic blasts, raging snowstorms, streets clogged with snow and – worse – slush, and days when it’s nicer to be inside – or elsewhere – than out in the real and all-too-long-lasting world.

Nevertheless, Spring has always arrived sooner or later even here and probably will again. Therefore, one needs to prepare for the event. More specifically, if you want to enjoy the first spring flowers, you have to plant them. And that means crocuses. Nothing beats that splash of yellow and white and purple after all those weeks of nothing but brown and white – but it comes at a price.

Crocuses, by nature, are hardy little creatures. The least indication of a warming sun will have them up and doing their thing. Normally, too, they multiply. A few crocuses one year will be a lot of crocuses before many years have passed. But not everyone appreciates crocuses for their color. There are creatures out there who consider crocuses an excellent food source. These are especially abundant in the more remote sections of Connecticut. Here in the suburbs of Sharon, a few crocuses this year have been hardly any crocuses next year. A few pathetic survivors manage to hang in there but a robust statement of hope and springtime joy, they haven’t been able to produce.

Nevertheless, I’m an optimist. Maybe they’ll do better here than there. Maybe there’s a way to protect them. Maybe next year will be better. Maybe . . .

So the catalog came last Spring and made it look easy. Planting crocuses always seems like a good idea when you don’t have to do it right away. So I ordered a supply: cheaper by the dozen; cheaper still if you order 75.

But then you have to plant 75 of those silly little bulbs three inches deep in 75 different places. Have you ever tried to find 75 different places to plant crocuses? Not easy. And then there’s that three inch hole. I have a special tool that cuts out circles of earth – if you don’t hit a rock, which in Connecticut you usually do.

All of which is an attempt to excuse myself for letting a long time go between blogs. I’ve been out there planting crocuses – and after several hours on several afternoons, I’m almost half done. Who would have thought that 75 was so large a number? But there’s no frost or snow in the forecast yet, so it’s possible that it will get done before Winter comes and puts a stop to such activity.

If so, next Spring will look festive indeed in our part of the world and I hope you will stop by at the right time to enjoy it. We will not think now about the long-term prognosis.


P.S. Check out The Episcopal Majority for one essay of mine already posted and another coming soon. Read their other posts also; they’re well written.

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