In late winter, crocus buds push up through the soil and pierce the brown leaves that fell last autumn. Then, suddenly, the first flower opens, and that is a cause for celebration. You walk out of your way every day to see the first flower, another, and their growing community; you might even take a friend to visit them too. The petals close on cloudy days, in rain, or in snow. Their natural antifreeze keeps crocuses unfazed by freezing temperatures or a chance snowfall; when the sun tells them it is safe to open again, they shine even more brightly against the fallen snow.