The calendar says it's spring, but outside, winter is still gasping for air. Yesterday was the nicest day we've had all year, with temps nearing 60°. The next couple of days we're going back to winter-like weather and snow flurries are even predicted for later tonight.
Last year at this time, we were in Florida for a week's vacation. When we had left home, the only things blooming were the snowdrops and a crocus. When we returned the first of April, spring had sprung in the garden, all in the matter of a week's time.
Yesterday, the first crocus burst into bloom, which says to me that the gardens are just about ready to pop into full-out springiness.
This one is part of a mix of giant crocus so there will be purples and whites eventually blooming right along with this luscious saffron-colored one.
Speaking of saffron, the spice comes from the style and stigma of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a fall-blooming species. It is the most expensive spice by weight and is native to southwest Asia. Saffron is what gives the rice in paella its characteristic golden yellow color.
A purple one is ready to open, too. It may have been open in the afternoon and I didn't see it because I was working. Late in the day as the sun sets, the crocus close up.
Saffron information from Wikipedia.