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Not the first sign of spring

These beautiful snowdrops have been up for a few weeks here in coastal Connecticut. They’re elegant little flowers with drooping heads that look like clusters of fresh snow. But weeks before these brave plants bloom, skunk cabbage arrives in the streams and muddy places in the woods. They are spirialed, cone-shaped, in purple and green with a sharp tip that can cut through snow or ice. And better yet, they produce heat so they can actually melt the snow that covers them. (The technical term for this it thermogenic.)

Both of these early spring visitors remind me of my mother. She had a sharp eye for wild flowers and also kept track of the birds, writing down when she heard the first robin and the haunting call of a wood thrush. It was her way of marking the seasons, and I think a way of hope, too. Look what has just emerged from the frozen ground. Isn’t it wonderful? I think so.



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