Ten years or so ago, my father taught me to watch for these little wildflowers to appear, because the first frost of the year occurs about six weeks after they bloom. They bloom for only a couple of weeks, usually from mid-September to early October. They come in a variety of colors. The ones I see in my local area are mostly purple or hot pink.
Whenever I or my wife notice the first spider lilies, we mark it on our calendar so we can see how closely they predict the first cold snap.
This year, we saw them on Sept. 25. and marked Nov 6. on our calendar. We noticed our first frost on Nov. 7 or 8 – it was so light it barely qualified as frost, but it was there. We had our first sub-32-degree low a week later, on the night of the 13th.
That’s a pretty accurate prediction, considering the fact that it’s based on the appearance of a single flower.
Note – Sunday Flower Blogging is the one non-writing thing I plan to do here. I think it’s legitimate because writers definitely benefit from stopping now and then to notice a little natural beauty. Also, it’s just plain cool. Usually, I will feature my own photos or reader-submitted images here, but I’ve been busy and the weather has been bad, so I didn’t have time to make a photo run this weekend.
If you are in the mood for something thoughtful and entertaining about writing, you might like Scholars and Rogues’ Art Sunday post on the art of the short story.