Flowers and plants. I sure do love them. Their shapes, their colors, their smells, their forms, the buds they come from. And the fruits and seed pods that grow later. Some people dis flowers, and say, “Oh it’s just the plants, having sex.” Imagine how Rush Limbaugh and the Christianist Right would fulminate if they knew about all that sexytime that plants are having, all around them, all the time. “PLANTS ARE SLUTS!” Limbaugh would roar, and tell us about how the bees are just lining up to go frolicking in the private parts of the floral population. It’s all Obama’s fault, the flowers, and why don’t they speak English, anyway? Those dam Botanists, with their hifalutin’ loose lips Latiny and geeky Greeky “binomial nomenclature”.
They say you can find a myrtle flower any day of the year, if you’ll only look.
As the depths of winter wane and the days extend again towards summerlength, skunk cabbage pokes its pointy cowls through the ice and miry muck of swamp and streamside. Soon after that, witch hazels open, prompting people to say, as they seem to every time late winter rolls around, “Gosh the forsythia is early this year”.
Soon after these harbingers come drifts of snowdrops, and the bright yellow of winter aconite. Winter aconite is a member of the buttercup family, and is binomially known as “Eranthis hyemalis”. (Take that, Rush Limbaugh!). Not only that, aconite is a member of the “Ranunculaceae”. (Take that, Rick Santorum!)
Official Spring is here now, and the first daffodils are bursting open.
But daffodils are another story. For another day.
It’s a story that will include underground wisdom from a wise neighbor woman, who I first met when I was two or three years old.