Manitoba Crocus: A Spring gem of a wild flower


The first botany trip of the year in Manitoba is always a big deal. Today was no exception. My doctor  called me on the phone yesterday and confirmed I could go outside because the chances of passing on pneumonia were now “extremely low.” That was good enough for me.


This has been a crazy year. First, we were driven out of Arizona in mid-March because of the COVI-19 pandemic. This was before I had any chance to see cactuses in bloom in Arizona. In other words, this was a “dreadful pity,” to quote the Red Rose tea commercials.


Then when we got back to Manitoba we were basically quarantined. We are not supposed to go out at all except for important matters and then only if we stay a safe social distance from people, which basically means 2 metres or more. I felt Sandilands Provincial forest was a very safe place to go. In fact I only saw 3 groups of people. 2 were in cars that drove past me without stopping. The other was a small group of people cutting some trees for firewood and I drove past them in my car. So I felt no guilt at all about being out and about.


I drove to ta site near  Hadashville in Sandilands Provincial Forest and had no trouble finding the crocuses site but found no calypsos. These are Manitoba’s first orchids each year.  This was plenty late enough for them to be blooming but this year has been very cold in spring. Did I miss them? I tentatively concluded that they were late this year, but that might just be wishful thinking.


Since I could not photograph calypso orchids the first of the Manitoba orchids I spent the time photographing crocuses. I already have hundred of photographs of crocuses, but I always hope to capture a better image. The fun is in the chase. Crocuses were still in bloom.

Life is good.

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