Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Coltsfoot in Bloom!

Such a beautiful, balmy, blue-sky day today! So apt for the first day of spring!  After slipping and sliding on the packed-ice trails at Bog Meadow earlier in the day, I longed to stride freely on bare ground beneath my feet, so I stopped off at the Spring Run Trail in Saratoga Springs on my way home.  I accessed Spring Run Trail from the parking lot of a retail/residential complex on Excelsior Avenue, where a set of cleared stairs led down to the plowed public trail.

I headed east toward a bridge that crosses the now-rushing Spring Run Brook, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun on my back and the radiance of a clear blue sky over my head. I was delighted to note that the snow near the bridge had retreated well away from the trailside.  I knew this particular spot to be the site where the wildflower Coltsfoot first comes into bloom each spring.  Would I find it there today?

Oh yes, I DID!!!

OK, OK, I know that Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is just some little no 'count weed, not even a native wildflower but rather one that was brought to this continent by early European settlers as a medicinal plant.  But even though I'm a total native-plant snob, I can't help adoring Coltsfoot's sunny yellow blooms, our first flower of spring that actually LOOKS like a flower, the kind of flower our children drew with a yellow crayon and held beneath their chins to prove they liked butter.  And for me as a Christian, I love it as a symbol of Easter.  This common little roadside weed speaks more to me of the Resurrection than any pampered hothouse Easter Lily ever could.  Like God's love, these cheerful little blooms are freely given, springing forth unbidden from the cold dead leaf litter, 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 and despised, Coltsfoot makes its home among the poorest soils, brightening desolate areas where little else will grow. And also, as Jesus did, it has healing powers  (it's said to be a remedy for sore throats and coughs).  So I bless you, dear little Coltsfoot.  It gives me great joy to welcome you once more.


threecollie said...

I love coltsfoot too! Yours is always weeks ahead of ours for some reason, but I will be looking for it now.

The Furry Gnome said...