The crocuses have been out now for a couple of days here, as they have elsewhere. These are not the big blowsy purple or yellow ones that make a bright carpet of colour. In fact, from a distance they’re nothing, one reason why I did not bother with a wide shot here. Get down on your knees in the moss and mould, though, and to my eye they are just as lovely as a big splash.

Two crocus flowers, barely open, seen from ground level

Three crocus flowers seen from ground level

A single crocus flower, half open, seen from ground level and showing the delicate purple veining on a pale blue background

Single crocus flower, showing the yellow anthers and orange stigma

Crocus flower with orange stigma and yellow anthers, not perfectly sharp but still quite lovely

Other things are stirring too, possibly unsurprising given how warm it has been. But I heard today that the whole of Italy is now in a drought. Up north, it hasn’t rained for more than 60 days, and this is a Mediterranean climate, where the winters are supposed to be wet. The rest of the year could prove very difficult for all.

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