The seasons arrive in stages, each one a surge of new bloom. This is especially true in springtime, as we progress from crocus to daffodil to tulip and on into full-blown summer. (Have you ever managed to catch that mystic switch from spring to summer? I just seem to wake up one day and notice spring has passed, but I don't know when or how she went.)
If the year is a parade, daffodils are the first big marching band to pass the viewing stand. They're never quite in step, and they do more skipping and dancing than marching, but their fairy trumpets leave no doubt that the parade has come.
After daffodils come the tulips. I think of them as marking second-stage spring. A little more formal, tulips, but they give us a lovely shape-shifting show.
Tulips are the beauty queens in our parade, waving graciously as they sail on by.
There are so many other blossoms in this bower of a Southern spring. I don't even know all their names, and I haven't been out to photograph their faces. I hope to change that soon.