I found a sure sign of spring today, even in the blizzard! I can always tell when March is here and spring isn't far behind when daffodils appear in the supermarket.
I remember that my mom could even buy daffodils in Crosby, where freshly-cut flowers were scarce. I think she got them for about $1.00 a bunch.
I loved how the succulent green stems are held together by rubber bands that squeak wetly when the bands are slid off. Daffodils smell so, so, pollen-y. It's hard to describe their scent for anyone who hasn't smelled daffodils, but it's fresh, light and clean, not heavy and cloying like hyacinth and paperwhite narcissus. They smell ripe and green. Yes, green, even if they are yellow. They smell like promise and earth and living things, when all living things are submerged under a fortress of snow.
I always buy two bunches and put them in my milk glass vases, placing them on the mantel. They also look wonderful in cobalt blue vases, Alice blue vases and blue and white Chinese porcelain. I always buy them in the bud stage, for it doesn't take long for them to open in a warm room, and they last much longer that way.
Today, daffodils are $2.79 a bunch, but that's still a bargain, at 28 cents a stem. I didn't buy any today. Usually, the first daffodils of the season aren't as high quality as the ones that come in later. That was the case today, as the flower heads looked limp.
But they were a welcome sign of spring, when one was sorely needed.