Faces rise through the soil, ghostly apparitions of life once buried yet clawing its way to the surface.
They call themselves flowers, these earthly beings, these shining, petaled, hued portraits of aliens.
They open without a sound, yet other marvelous creatures hear their siren songs and rush to partake of the bountiful visage each proffers.
More than was lost the year before is found again with each blossom, each new life.
Soon their armies will march upon the mountains and plot upon the plains.
Soon their kind will take from the sun all that it fells upon the world, and in that taking they will give as much as they consume.
Lives will do battle with those risen from the ground, will eat of their flesh, and in doing so will give hope to more faces that will glow in generations to come.
What splendor does war in the vernal birth of our planet! What marvels do manifest!
Towers will be built. Traps will be set. And more faces will rise than can be counted.
We will watch this, we humans, and we will wonder at the beauty of such beasts.
Even as we shrink away from the heat that besets the selves we wish to protect, dirt will crumble as more leviathans reach forth, climb the air above, strip away their winter skins for spring countenances too long hidden away.
Fields will be colored by them. Winds will carry their essence. Eyes will rest upon their forms like so many mouths upon a banquet.
What hope have we in light of such unstoppable invasions?
All hope, for vernal is that which is to come: life from lifelessness, growth from dormancy, brilliance from mundane, and new faces from the ashes of those who came before.
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Mary offered It’s Time for February Eye Candy and David offered Happy first day of spring!, both posting on the same day no less, and I blame them for this sudden want of mine to see the verdant, abundant life of spring. Not that I don’t like winter, mind you; I love it, in fact, as it’s my favorite season, yet the naturalist within me desires the overflowing bouquet of marvelous flora and fauna that defines where we go from here.
 A spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) makes its ascent over the petals of a common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).
 As toxic as it is beautiful: crowpoison (a.k.a. crow poison or false garlic; Nothoscordum bivalve).
 A western honey bee (a.k.a. European honey bee; Apis mellifera) dives to the heart of a showy evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) to fetch a bit of pollen.
 A non-native species considered invasive in many parts, western salsify (Tragopogon dubius) produces large, elegant flowers. All the towering buds you see around it are of the same species.
 A western honey bee (a.k.a. European honey bee; Apis mellifera) resting atop a full bloom of wild carrot (a.k.a. bishop’s lace or Queen Anne’s lace; Daucus carota). Behind both towers yet another flower of the same plant has yet to open.
 A syrphid fly (a.k.a hover fly; Toxomerus marginatus) feeding on the pollen of a Texas dandelion (a.k.a. false dandelion, Carolina desert-chicory, leafy false dandelion or Florida dandelion; Pyrrhopappus carolinianus).