Take the time to appreciate the beauty of spring

Pictured above are Crocus,  squirrel corn and bird of paradise flowers.

gardeningknowhow.com and dutchgrown.com

Pictured above are Crocus, squirrel corn and bird of paradise flowers.

Danielle Borst, Staff Writer

April showers bring May flowers’… and that is certainly true here in Michigan. With daffodils sprouting and the weather finally getting nicer, spring has sprung in Michigan. Flowers will continue to bloom this spring and create a joyful environment. Some may say that flowers are not important and fail to notice the beauty all around them. However, I’d argue that this event should be appreciated and celebrated.

Flowers do a multitude of things, some that we would not typically even consider such as signaling an end of winter seasonal depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder has two seasons: the fall onset or winter depression and the much more rare spring onset or summer depression. Flowers can signal a very important time for someone with SAD. The flowers represent spring and with that comes longer times of sunlight. Sunlight can help relieve symptoms. Keep in mind that SAD gets better day-by-day, not immediately. With that, however, seeing signs such as flowers tells a person with fall onset SAD that their symptoms may become much less severe than they had in the winter.

Some may continue to argue that sure, it signals the start of spring, but why should we care about the flowers themselves? They all look the same with a stem, flower petals and leaves.

It is true that most flowers share components like a stem. But that doesn’t mean they are all genetically the same. In fact, there are more than 500 types of flowers in Michigan alone, according to Michiganwildflowers.com. Spring flowers in Michigan itself can be very different looking. While all of them are gorgeous, there are some that take the cake for some of the most beautiful flowers of the season.

The crocus is a most commonly purple (they can also be white or yellow) flower that keeps its stem hidden underground. So not all flowers look the same when one of them is missing an entire stem. The flower also has petals that look like they have been dyed a darker purple than the rest of the flower. It also produces the spice saffron after the red tingled middle is dried out.

Snowdrop is an ironic name as it is a spring flower; however, upon further inspection, it does make sense. The snow often drips off of its hanging petals as it is one of the first plants to sprout each year. With three thin petals that extend parallel to the stem of the flower, it is a unique and welcome spring blossom to signal new beginnings.

Another flower begins its quirkiness not with how it looks, but with the name itself. The squirrel corn flower comes in as one of the oddest flowers for both its name and its odd shape. The flower is most commonly white with a heart-shaped flower that seems to peel apart at the end of the flower and points toward the ground, instead of up toward the sky as is typical.

Honorable mentions include the grape hyacinth, which is a long-stemmed flower with multiple buds that look like blueberries. Another is the bird of paradise which is a tropical flower resembling a blue and yellow bird and uses birds to pollinate instead of bees or other insects.

Senior Lily Glowzinski has the last honorable mention, as she says her favorite flower is not in fact a lily but a bleeding heart.

Some will continue to argue saying that ‘flowers don’t do anything’ and that they are not important to our society in that we rely on them to survive. ‘Ok, so they’re pretty’ they might say, ‘but it’s not like we’d die without them’ and perhaps we would not immediately perish if all the flowers in the world disappeared. However, it would have extreme consequences in the long run.

Without these plants we would not have a depleted amount of oxygen in the world. We may not be able to breathe if flowers perished because there could be a distinct difference in the amount of oxygen plants could produce to create a sustainable environment and all humans’ requirements for a certain amount of that oxygen. Another fundamental issue would be pollination. Without flowers, many pollinators would not be able to survive which means they would not pollinate our crops, which humans need to survive. Flowers are significant in a number of ways and should not be dismissed and taken for granted.

Flowers bring joy and are important to humanity in a number of ways. “Looking at pretty things like flowers makes you happy and releases dopamine in the brain,” said senior Kate Freed. “Plus they smell nice,” she adds. Flowers can scientifically make you happy with the release of the hormone dopamine and it can make you happy with messages too. Each flower has its own distinct meaning and you can communicate with these flowers. By saying something like I love you with flowers, it is as senior Maddie Berendt says, “A way to show someone your thinking of them.”

Joy can be created in a number of ways and even put an end to dreary days. Flowers can be a cause of so much happiness if you allow something so tiny to be a source of positivity in your life.

They are what can truly make a life worthwhile. So this spring, it might not yet be time to stop and smell the roses, but taking a deep breath and enjoying the beauty of spring might just make your day a little brighter.