As a southern Californian, I grew up knowing Spring to be that couple of weeks when the mountains and fields were green. It wasn't until I lived in England and experienced Winter that I experienced the stereotypical Spring.
That was also the first time I saw a crocus. Crocuses were the little bit of color in the still brown and barren winter ground. Purples, oranges, yellows and whites, they'd bud in dirt on the side of the road. Not as delicate as a snow drop or flashy as a daffodil, they humbly poked their heads out of the dirt, singly or in patches, and opened their petals, revealing a hint of orange or yellow, paying homage to the sun. Crocuses were a sign of better things to come.