I went to Sandilands a second time in search of Calypso and was denied again. Flowers were not excited by the cool spring. Neither was I. But I was rewarded because crocuses were still in glorious bloom. I nearly rejected this first photograph and then paused to save it for future consideration. Later I wondered why I wanted to discard it because now it is one of my favourites. Lesson: slow down and be careful out there. Now I see it as suggesting light in the dark.
The Pasque flower or prairie crocus (Anemone patens), is one of the first plants to bloom on the prairie each year. They are a true indicator that spring is here. It is a time to cheer. It has petals that vary from white, pale pink, light blue, blue, pink, mauve, and purple.
These flowers are often found in disturbed land such as right beside a gravel road. Isn’t that a strange place to grow? Why in he gravel and why so close to a road where vehicles can end their short lives?
The strategy of blooming early enables this lovely flower to catch the attention of pollinators such as small bees and insects because there is little competition at this time of year from other flowers. This strategy of course has its risks. Sometimes the seeds are unable to germinate on account of severe cold during flowering, which can severely restrain seed production. Often they appear before the snow melts completely. If the prairie soil is too dry the seeds will go dormant, then germinate the following spring.
Frankly, I have hundreds of crocus photos and each year I say enough already and then in spring I am so anxious to photograph wild flowers I find I must go out in search of them. I can’t resist their beauty. Only a Cretan would do that. The prairie crocus is a treasure of the prairie spring.