Swaying in the March winds are the harbingers of spring in the Ozarks: Yellow and Purple Crocus, Field and hybrid Daffodils, Dandelions, Grape Hyacinths, giant Hyacinths, budding Redbuds and Japonicas (quince), Forsynthias, creeping Periwinkle, signs of Tulips ready to bloom, the clumps of green Naked Lady leaves, and Snow Lilies.
SNOW LILIES??? Yep, Snow Lilies. Somebody is pulling my leg or turning Arkansan folk lore into Texan Tall Tales.
I never heard of 'em until I moved to Arkansas. And herein lies today's story--just one of those re-educational moments of my conversion from Texan to Arkansan.
We moved to Arkansas in May, 1980. We set up house, literally; we bought and placed a double-wide manufactured home on a residential lot in our small town, population at the time about 1000.
During the next few early years we spent time pursuing jobs, friends, church, etc. In that pursuit, there was a proverbial search for a hairdresser who was willing to deal with my contrary hair [see posts, Part 1 and Part 2]. In those years I only knew it was contrary and obstinent, but did not know the reason which I learned in 2000 was Cherokee in origin.
A friendly neighbor from whom we purchased our lot, suggested a hairdresser whose husband was a plumber she used.
Pity on her--I made the usual appointment, taking the name of the permanent and exact details of application from my former hairdresser, who, no doubt was glad I moved on.
The local hairdresser and I seemed to share a lot in common and became fast friends--best friends (BF). She had lived in our tiny town long before me and knew EVERYBODY, and EVERYTHING....no doubt the beauty shop clientele provided much information, whether reliable or not.
This is BF's story. [I would have invited her to personally tell it as she is a journalist, but she is suffering a bone spur in her shoulder making typing very painful.]
BF had an interesting spring flower blooming along with Daffodils and other spring growth. These were beautiful little bell-shaped, white flowers. She said these flowers were on her property when they moved in. The flower did not appear to be a native field flower.
When BF moved to our little town from Illinois, many natives still lived in the town and surrounding area. One such native (Mrs. HASX) lived nearby and patronized BF's beauty shop.
One spring day Mrs. X had a hair appointment. BF and Mrs. X chatted about lots of things including flowers. BF asked Mrs. X, if she knew the name of the little white flowers which were on the property when purchased and which faithfully reappear in early spring.
Now the story becomes Mrs. X's story. "Oh, those are snow lilies," she exclaimed.
As is common among farmers and gardeners, Mrs. X regaled an observation, ol' wive's tale, local tale, legend, superstition or simply a weather prediction that may be more reliable than weather forecast--but nevertheless I can attest it is true.
She said when the snow lilies bloom, it has to snow on the blooms at least one time, and then winter is over! It may only be one snowflake, but it HAS TO OCCUR!
Later BF found out snow lilies were known as Summer Snow Flakes, a slight misnomer, as there is not a bit of the snow lily left by summer.
Sunday March 21, after days of near perfect 70 degree weather, on the second day of spring with the snow lilies, a.k.a. Summer Snow Flake, in full bloom, it snowed on the snow lily, as it has every spring for the 30 years (in May) that I have lived here.
Once this yearly phenomenon occurs, it has never snowed again later in spring of that year. We await this year's prediction of spring, to see if 'history repeats itself!' Stay tuned!
When my husband, a city worker, was plowing snow, he and others, who knew of this phenomen of a harbinger of spring, cursed and threatened removal of the little charmers.
Thus I check the status of the snow lilies every spring. How can I doubt Mother Nature?
[Photo: supplied by BF, may have been taken by her husband.]