A few days of 80°+ weather have catapulted us beyond winter. This week on campus, pea coats and scarves vanished, replaced overnight by the trademark USC look of short shorts, flip flops, and shades. Camps of classes were meeting on the grass, and when I walked into his office this morning, my boss commented on how my floral sweater went with his purple shirt. If nothing else, that must certainly be a sign of spring, from those of us in the “black is an appropriate color year-round” and white-shirt-and-tie fashion camps.
My favorite harbingers of spring are the leucojum vernum or “snowflakes” which have naturalized throughout my garden. The snowflakes are the first to bloom of my seasonal flowers, and I’ve come to know that I can look forward to a couple of months of bouquets in my Waterford Lismore creamer repurposed as a small vase.
Last spring I wrote about how I have assumed that our house’s second resident, artist Geraldine Birch Duncan, was the one who planted a bank of these snowdrops. Our first year in this house, I watched their green shoots resolutely poke up amid the rubble, wondering what they were. I called them my “mystery bulbs” until they revealed their tell-tale white bell-shaped flowers. I’ve transplanted them twice to be in their current beds. As the new landscaping grows in, it looks like some of them need to get transplanted yet again.
I’m actually hoping we are not completely done with winter, though. We need more rain, and all that sun isn’t good for those undergraduates basking in the rays on the quad. And besides, I’ve got more black in my wardrobe than purple.