Sunday, April 2, 2017
Small Sunny Blooms Signal the REAL Start of Spring
Just LOOK at those sunny little flowers, pushing up from the dead leaf litter to tell us that spring is here, for SURE! I found these delightful little Coltsfoot blooms along Spring Run Trail today. Yes, I know, we've seen Skunk Cabbage already, but Coltsfoot is the first of the spring blooms that really looks like a flower, the kind we can draw with a yellow crayon, or pick and put in a vase for our moms, or hold under our chins to cast a golden light that reveals we love butter -- just as we can do with Dandelions, the flower that Coltsfoot is very often confused with. But Coltsfoot blooms before its big hoof-shaped leaves push up from the soil, unlike the Dandelion that shoots up a flower stalk from amid its rosette of sharply toothed leaves.
It's just two weeks until Easter, now, and as Christians prepare to rejoice that the Lord is risen, we wildflower lovers also rejoice that Coltsfoot has risen as well. Alleluia! The season of blooming is here! Bursting forth in glory from out of the cold dead leaves, the common little Coltsfoot speaks to me of resurrection far more than any pampered, florist-bred Easter Lily could. Like God's love, they are freely given, they spring forth unbidden, there's not a thing we had to do to deserve them, nor a penny we have to spend to enjoy them. Also, like the Incarnate One who dwelt among the lowly, they make their home among the poorest soils, brightening desolate roadsides where little else will grow. It's said that they even have healing powers, as a remedy for sore throats and coughs. So bless you, dear little Coltsfoot. It gives me great joy to welcome you once more.
And as much as I love Coltsfoot, the hungry bees have reason to celebrate you even more, finding treasure among your golden troves of pollen, long before any other flowers have yet to bloom.