Although it’s raining as I write these words, yesterday–Easter Sunday–was sunny and glorious: the kind of day that gives reassurance that yes, you have survived another New Hampshire winter. When I saw crocuses blooming in my across-the-street neighbor’s yard, I nearly broke into a joyous jig right there on the spot. New England winters do that sort of thing to you: they make you want to dance for joy when there’s the slightest indication that they might be over.

When I saw those crocuses in my across-the-street neighbor’s yard, I knew I’d have to walk the dog until we found more (and more accessible) ones; I knew I wouldn’t come home until I’d photographed some. Walking across my neighbor’s yard to photograph his crocuses seemed too invasive, what with me being attached to an inquisitively sniffing and peeing dog and all. So Reg and I set out for West Street here in Keene, where I took several of last year’s springtime crocus pictures.

And yep, sure enough there were crocuses blooming in front of a particular business where there had been crocuses last year, and I took the above photo. It felt a little like cheating, this going straight to the spot of planted quarry you know is going to be waiting (and posing) for you. But that’s another sort of thing that New Hampshire winters do to you: they make you drop your usual scruples about shooting canned subjects.

So, as a sort of penance for luring you in with a photographic set-up, here’s a completely spontanous picture: a handful of snowdrops in a spot I wasn’t expecting them. I guess that’s how stalking not-so-wild plants works. Sometimes when you’re looking for something you know you’ll find, you find something you never imagined.


Postscript: Crocus leaves (if not flowers) played a prominent role in my most recent (and woefully overdue!) edition of “Pedestrian Thoughts,” which I sent to my email list on Saturday. “Pedestrian Thoughts” is a semi-monthly nature column I began before I started blogging: it’s what led me to blogging, since an early PT reader sent me a link to my very first blog, and that led me to another, and another, and another. My Pedestrian essays are longer and more polished than my blog-posts: my Pedestrian essays are culled from my handwritten journals, just like Thoreau’s essays. In my mind at least, there’s something different about an essay that started as scribbles in a notebook rather than typed words on a screen.If you’re on my Pedestrian Thoughts email list, you should have received the latest essay this weekend. If you’re not on my PT list, I’d encourage you to sign up here: it’s free (and e-newsletters are eco-friendly), so what do you have to lose?