Marja-Leena Rathje
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February flowers






Our typical westcoast warming blanket of cloud cleared overnight bringing us some pretty though short-lived frost. Today's too rare sunshine was a gift though the vision of bright white snow on the mountain tops reminded us that it still is winter higher up and we are not immune to a late snowfall lower down. It's been relatively mild, maybe average at sea level this season. The first harbingers of spring, the snowdrops, have been out for a while, now joined by the hellebore and potted primulas, admittedly protected next to the house. A few early yellow crocus flowers appeared a few days ago which often don't come until about the end of the month.

Meanwhile, we've been following the news of terrific blizzards in eastern Canada and northeast USA. Such lovely photos of snow yet such difficulties when there's too much at once. I hope you are all safe and warm! I grew up in cold snowy places the first 27 years of my life and have not forgotten what it is like. May these images of flowers give you hope that spring is around the corner. I know we are lucky to have ended up living here.

Tonight is the start of the Asian New Year celebrations including in Vancouver's Chinatown. Tomorrow is British Columbia's first Family Day holiday, a much-needed one to break that long period between Christmas and Easter. In Finland schools have a ski week holiday this month. Valentine's or Friendship Day is coming too. Tomorrow is also another birthday for yours truly, and my husband's is at the end of the month. A good month, in my books!

Marja-Leena | 10/02/2013 | 13 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events


Oh, how beautiful! A sight for snow-blind eyes. Happy birthday, Marja-Leena! Hope your birthday is full of love and beauty.

Leslee, 'snow-blind', oh dear... glad the flowers sooth. Thanks for the wishes - the day was wonderful with seafood and shared cheesecake for lunch and gorgeous ocean and mountain scenery! We took a drive up the coast along beautiful Howe Sound. Have a few photos but forgot to charge the batteries...will share more soon.

Many happy returns of the day, Marja-Leena!

Your flower pictures truly are very beautiful and I thank you for posting them especially for those of us currently snowed under. There is a lot of the stuff out there, more than we've seen the previous two winters, but we're well. Spring will be a welcome sight.

Very best wishes.

Susan, thanks for the good wishes. I'm glad these photos were of cheer and that you are okay in all that snow that came your way. Hope spring comes early on the east coast.

The flowers are so pretty. I love the play of sun and shadow on the leaves and blossoms.
And Happy Birthday to you both.

Happy birthday! Hope you have lovely celebrations...

The flowers are wonderful. Such sweet little faces. I am always surprised that the snowdrops are there, blooming underneath the snow as begins to melt away. And then comes aconite right behind...

Hattie, thank you, my birthday was great - will put up photos of that day later!

Marly, thanks to you too! Do you mean the yellow winter aconite which I think we call ranunculus? I don't have that in my garden. I tried some monkshood for a year or two but that perished. Do you have a lot of snow there still?

Oh, belated happy birthday, and in advance for your husband!

I miss snowdrops, but they never thrive here. The hellebores do though, and I love them, such a long show they make, and lovely even when they are old and sere.

Lucy, thanks for the wishes! You've mentioned before that snowdrops don't do well there in Brittany. I wonder if it's colder and/or drier, or if it is the soil. I don't remember snowdrops up north or the prairies where the winters are very cold. As for hellebores, I have to keep them in pots so I can move them next to the house away from heavy winter rains that batter and bruise.

Oh, oh. I am so envious, and so grateful for this glimpse of spring!

Beth, I can't believe how cold it is in some parts of Canada, so I hope these do warm and cheer you.

Oh, yes, we have snow. And it is snowing regularly still. Our latest date for lots of snow in my 13 years here was May 25th (30 inches, though it melted fairly fast.)

It's Eranthis hyemalis: winter aconite / Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family.) But I think there are a zillion plants that could be called ranunculus if you go by family! There's a huge carpet of them in the back yard, and some in my front bed. They just spread happily, as do some other ephemerals mixed among them.

Marly, happily spreading flowers, if loved, are a boon in the garden, aren't they? My snowdrops have spread incredibly this year, even into some strange spots that make me wonder how they ever got there.