Is it really the flowers that are the sign of spring? In the plains of India it is the heat which announces that the brief winter is done and calendrical spring has begun. In today’s springtime Delhi I had to take a little walk on the road in a blistering 43 degrees. In Bhutan ten years ago the spring temperature never rose above 15 degrees. So the weather is not a sign of spring.
Nor are flowers. I saw enough flowers in Bhutan that year to make it seem as if it is. But then every winter gardens across India burst into colourful life. It is not the flowers, but the profusion of pollinators which announce spring. Winter’s pollinators seem to be only butterflies.
In spring every insect seems to jump into the role. Moths and wasps have backs dusted with pollen, just as much as bees or bumblebees. In Bhutan I even saw a fly pollinating flowers in spring!