Nature Insight (Repost): Crocus at Last (and Forever)

They have appeared again, those autumn crocuses that never cease to amaze me. And so (I have to admit, because I am a little pressed for time, with apologies for all the blogs I am behind on visiting) I have decided to share this post once more. I have added a photograph, taken just this morning, after some heavy rain, so these autumnal burst of spring look a little bedraggled but no less magical. 

Copyright 2011 by DM Denton

There is a memory here, planted moments before it was too late.

It’s not what it seems. These are not the spring variety, waking from frigid dreams, wooed by what is to come, green showing warily yet buds often opening too soon.

These are not flowers fraught with anticipation. They’ve already been revealed, lost their clothes in the crowd, withdrawn to regrow and regroup before winter. These latent lilies are a law unto themselves, having done it all before, bending this way and that, exploding unashamed into sunshine and tears, inviting their withering surroundings to dance before the mystery of dying.

For here is immortality.  Everywhere.  And so the generous age offered a handful of corms for drilling into years she might or might not have ahead, too deep to be forgotten.  

Writing note: The autumn crocus actually isn’t a crocus—it’s in the lily family (crocuses are in the iris family), flowering in the fall. Autumn crocuses send up their leaves in the spring but they die back by summer, the flower stalks rising and blooming quite indecently in fall. Some common names are: naked ladies and mysteria. Mine were given me many years ago by an older neighbor friend of my mom’s, Sue Drilling, a farmer’s wife, who was fiercely independent as well as extremely intelligent and artistic, living alone into her 80’s (no one knows for sure, as she would never tell her age…) in a large Frank Lloyd Wright style house where she had a very wild but wonderful perennial garden. The new owners have since dug it all up and replaced it too neatly with shrubs and lawns, less to care for and enjoy.

Wishing everyone a blessed autumn!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

13 thoughts on “Nature Insight (Repost): Crocus at Last (and Forever)

  1. Another elegant gem, Diane, and your writing and artwork are always so beautiful and stunning…I apologize for not visiting for awhile, but I hope you’re doing well! Hugs and blessings for a beautiful Sunday!


    • Yes, it is so magical. It starts its ‘life’ as rather cumbersome leaves in July, disappears, and then pops up its little floppy but determined stems forming into flowers as the days cool and the shadows lengthen in September. They have an elfin quality about them. Hope you plant some for next year! Thank you for your lovely comment. Diane XO


  2. Diane, you have brought delight into a dark, dreary drab, waterlogged day here in the UK!!

    This is a fabulous post, with a wonderful illustration (you know how much I love your artwork!) And the photograph too is quite stunning in the sunshine; they don’t look bedraggled at all to me but I think I see beyond their possible “bedraggledness” 🙂

    And your words as ever so delicate and gentle, almost as though you are protecting these fascinating flowers.

    “”inviting their withering surroundings to dance before the mystery of dying” is an absolutely beautiful line!! So very, very deep and meaningful even way beyond its context here.

    Thank you so much for this 🙂

    With lots of love

    Christine xx


    • My apologies for taking so long to reply to your beautiful comment. Knowing that I might bring some delight to another brings delight to me!

      Every year, in July, I mistake these ‘messy’ leaves in the perennial beds as leftovers from spring flowers … then I remember they are the initial appearance of the autumn crocus.

      In early September I look for them but they aren’t there … until they literally appear overnight, proving that ‘hope springs eternal’; something that nature reminds us of all the time.

      Love always, Diane XO


  3. Oh, I LOVE all of this, Diane! I especially love it when you give us some history/info about the flowers–so now you won’t be surprised if I suddenly get fired up to write a poem about “naked ladies”–Shock, Gasp! I’m also inspired by Sue Drilling–what a remarkable lady! God bless you, have a great week–love, Caddo


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