Thursday, April 11, 2019

becoming a crocus hunter

I have learned that when the snow is almost gone on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, and the air is still chilled by night frosts, this is the time to go crocus hunting.  Along the arches of grass beside the Meewasin trail, where prairie grass merges with juniper and low scrub along the edge of the escarpment, just before the land drops to the river valley.  We go walking off the trails, bending low, careful where we step, searching.

My favorite moment is the first sighting of the light purple peeking through the dry grass.  Once I've caught sight of one, they pop into view all along the brow of the hill.  Light purple stars, clumped with fuzzy nubs that are not yet open.  They hide in the brown junipers that are creeping toward the escarpment.  They stand exposed on some creature's footpaths among the dry grass.  They sprout beside a nighttime celebration's broken glass, and underfoot in the scrubby brush of the dog park.

I have never see them unless I am hunting for them. And had no idea how to look for them - or even that there was a point to looking for them -  before my friend took me on a walk last year, looking for crocuses.

If I want a really good picture, I have to kneel,
bend, or lay down on the grass, to get the camera close enough for a good shot, and if possible with some kind of backlight with sun rising or setting.  Because just a shot of the grass from where I stand shows just grassland.

The pelicans should arrive any time now.  We saw the first robins, watched the sea gulls on the patches of sand in the low river bed, caught a hawk playing on the breeze just under the light afternoon moon, watched crows gallivanting on the air currents.

We sat on the grass for a while, then turned back into the breeze along the trail to our home.
A successful crocus hunt.       

No comments:

Post a Comment