Thursday, February 07, 2008

Snowdrops for Spring

Here's a picture I took last spring on February 4 of snowdrops growing just down the block from my apartment building on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

This Sunday, February 3rd, when I was walking back from the library with my new books, I passed the same clump of snowdrops and they looked just like this.

I notice that at the phenological website for the UK, no one has yet reported any snowdrops in bloom. I suspect that's because the technical definition of "in bloom" is that one can see the stamens of the flowers, and these are still tightly closed. I like them almost better like this. They look like little white lanterns.

5 comments:

Goddess of the Woods said...

I know I recognize February as the start of Spring due to the crocuses pop their heads up .. well, that and the fact that the local foxes and skunks start their mating rituals.

Gwen Zierdt said...

The first of my crocus are showing white buds. Meanwhile my Mahonia 'arthur menzies', my heather 'kramers red', and the sarcacoca are in bloom stamens and all and my three Chinese Witchhazels are full on. This morning while I was taking out my garbage, I stopped and watched a native hummingbird enjoying the 'arthur menzies'.

If you haven't gone to the Washington Park Arboretum's Witt Winter Garden http://depts.washington.edu/wpa/ you should. Actually, you should have started going in November...smell the wintersweet for me...

Waverly Fitzgerald said...

Goddess of the Woods, I'm wondering about the mating rituals of the foxes and the skunks, but afraid to ask. We don't have any on Capitol Hill. racoons yes. And possums have been sighted (at least squashed on the road) as well, but I am not aware of their mating rituals. Right now it's the birds.

Gwen, thanks for the update on your garden. Now I have to look up all these plants and see if I can find them in my neighborhood. This is just the delightful sort of task I hoped would result from my blogging about this. Also apparently a trip to the arboretum is in order. Sigh! Someone has to do this phenological work and I guess it is me.

Goddess of the Woods said...

I've not witnessed the actual mating, per se. However, I know this is the time of year they mate and the imperical evidence that backs this up for me is that I've seen an abundance of foxes frolicing together (during the winter months I only tend to see one at a time, every other day or so) ... and the skunks, well ... lets just say I'm smellin' lots o' musk these days. They are more active and I anticipate seeing young 'uns in a a couple of months. I believe the gestation period for both is around 60 days or so. Anyway, that's all I have ... no riveting video footage! ; )

Waverly Fitzgerald said...

Goddess of the Woods--

I'm glad you mentioned that about the skunks and their smell. When I got out of my car, after parking next to my friend's apartment building in the University District last Sunday and smelled skunk. Since I'm an urban naturalist, that just didn't make sense to me. I actually looked around thinking someone was burning a tire (sometimes skunk smells like burned rubber to me or vice versa). But now I'm wondering if maybe there are skunks living on the campus of the University of Washington or along the wooded trail nearby (the Burke Gilman bicycle trail) and they were frolicking.