Monday, March 1, 2010

Signs of Spring

Signs that Spring is right around the corner are suddenly everywhere. Several sunny days and longer days have brought the songbird back to our courtyard to serenade us every morning and evening. Tulips, primroses, goat and curly willows are for sale all around Vienna. It is amazing how much joy these first flowers bring!

Tulips at the Naschmarkt:

Primroses among herbs, also at the Naschmarkt:

Curly willows, also called corkscrew willows—some older ones with thick twisted stems look like corkscrews—are for sale all over Vienna.

Goat (or pussy) willows are such an unusual plant. Who could help but be fascinated by the texture? When I look closely, I have found surprising colors mixed in with the silvery catkins. Evidently the bark of even these willows contains salicylic acid, the basis of aspirin. I think they are just beautiful!

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