The First Signs of Spring
April, the first signs of spring arise popping up out of the snow covered ground, giving a sense of wonder and magic at the incredibly tough little flower, the crocus.
Tim and Tucker, two big Belgian horses are waiting patiently as everyone climbs into the rubber wheeled wagon. Dressed in warm clothes and carrying the most important item of the day, their cameras, we head off into the wilderness. The horses are eager to go and set the pace at a steady trot. The sounds of the wagon breaking through the snow and ice are a welcomed sound knowing that spring is finally here. Puddles are gathering here and there in the lows spots on the sandy trails. Itís a sight not long to be had as it quickly disappears in the sand.
Down the winding trails we go, everyone keeping their eyes peeled to be the first one to spot the crocus.
Suddenly we come into the wide open to see gently rolling hills with bare spots revealed from the melting of the snow. It is here that we will find the crocus. We pull the wagon up to some spruce and park it here. Everyone quickly climbs out of the wagon and the search begins in earnest. Over here! Over here Sandy shouts! As we all gather round we find not just one, but a whole family of crocus. Big ones, small ones, ones just peeking out of the ground and the next in full bloom. The pedals have a furry covering to protect them from the cold and the colors range from a bluish purple to a pale purple. The prairie crocus being the first flower to bloom in the spring assures itself complete attention of available pollinators. The sunlight that reaches the center of the flower is reflected off the shiny leaves. The inside of the flower can be 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Often you will see bees and other insects inside and they may not just be there for a meal, but to keep warm. The crocus also tracks the sun taking in the heat to keep it warmer longer. It was in 1906 that school children choose this flower for the Manitoba Emblem.
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- The First Signs of Spring
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