Nature’s Valentine

Monday, February 14, 2011

During the cold, gray days of February, one of my favorite new year's rituals unfolds in my kitchen. In December, a plump brown amaryllis bulb arrives in its brown potted nest. I put the pot on my kitchen table where I can see it everyday.

Outside my kitchen window, the snow blows and the pond stays frozen; but inside my sunny kitchen, the amaryllis grows. I can almost hear it push itself up and out of its dead-looking bulb. Green appears, and then seems to gain speed getting taller everyday as buds form at the ends of one and then two stalks.

When the first bud opens, its color is breath-taking. This year's blooms are fiery red-orange with chartreuse centers on two stalks blooming simultaneously. The plant has grown so tall, I feel like I am eating under a blooming tropical tree. In the gray days of February, Mother Nature sends us a valentine — the brilliant red amaryllis.

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