The Encouraging Crocuses of Spring + Curious George = Solar Ovens!

The Crocus – till she rises

The Vassal of the snow

Emily Dickinson

The west coast weather was sunny and spring-like last week resulting in these two lovely crocuses rising from their beds  . . .


Being a childhood fan of curious George, I googled Crocus and here’s what I found from The Journal of Experimental Botany, Oxford Journal:

“As a symbol plant the crocus is a messenger of floral resurrection and in this respect also relevant to us in our cultural view of botany. Thus, the crocus may be regarded as a plant of encouragement.”


I snapped the above photo while on holiday exploring the downtown beauty of  Los Angeles and the public library . . .

To continue to pique your own curiosity, last week I brought out our sun oven.  The reflectors are open wide like the petals of the crocus, to the capture solar energy.


Food is in the oven and the unseen glass door (on the front) is closed to trap the heat. This acts similar to the windows of a car being shut on a hot sunny day. Except the temperatures inside the oven are much hotter, ranging from 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

On this day the outside temperature was 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) which demonstrates that it doesn’t have to be hot outside to cook with the sun.

As I promised in an earlier blog entitled Beyond Oil – Early Solar Architecture and Mesa Verde (click on this link to open it), a future blog will be devoted entirely to the carbon free option of solar cooking, and especially about its merits to the materially impoverished yet sun rich areas of the globe.


The meal is ready to put in the pot – solar cooks almost always use dark coloured pots to absorb energy better – stainless pots would reflect sunlight and reduce cooking temperatures.

Final notes for today. Solar cooking is fun, and the sun is free!

21 thoughts on “The Encouraging Crocuses of Spring + Curious George = Solar Ovens!

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour & Barrelling down the highway | through the luminary lens

  2. I had no idea there was such a thing as a solar oven – but now I want one! Although as I live on the south coast of the UK where sun is a rarity, I think it may turn out to be more decorative than functional.

    • They’re a great conversation starter for sure – and it is no doubt that solar ovens work best in deserts and sunbelts. Here in the pacific rainforset of British columbia we get 180 inches of rain per year and we have many solar cooking days as well. Coastal fog is a real impediment to all solar applications. Thankfully we live slightly inland. In a few coastal towns near here, the fog often doesn’t lift till past noon or later, even in summer.

      And of course solar at night, is feckless indeed 🙂

    • Yes . . . the same here on the west coast this past week . . . a few skiffs of snow since the crocus photo, and haven’t brought the solar oven out again, even though we’ve had a bit of sun. Curious George is becoming eager! 🙂

  3. i like how you compared the crocus flower with the solar oven. it does resemble each other in design. the photo of the flowers is beautiful. i think cooking by solar is a great idea. thanks for the introduction. well done.

    • Ah … thanks alot . . I was wondering if any one would comment about that. i guess one could say that a solar oven bio-mimics a crocus. Great joy in your blog too . . . funny and serious which is a eclectic combo . . . I especially love your titles and icon! 🙂

      • thanks, Bruce. i think it’s high time i sit myself down and write out a mission statement for my blog instead of wandering around aimlessly…ha ha. i am happy you found some things you liked. take it easy. 🙂

  4. Wow! That is an amazing view, from where the Solar cooker sits! Beautiful photos, Bruce, and I’m loving the solar cooking info. Looking forward to that blog, too!

    • Thank you for visiting and following. I’m looking foward to visiting and following “a leaf in spring” as well. As i said there will be more on Solar cooking . . . it’ll work in Finland too (well for 6 months of the year!) – land of the midnight sun, right? Peace . . . Bruce

  5. Fascinating about the solar ovens which I remember you talking about many years ago.
    Why don’t more people use them in the developing world.

    • Hi Brendan. Well . . . there are many people workin on it. Tough to really answer though. Maybe it’s a similar question to “Why don’t people in the developing world have access to safe drinking water, adequate health care and medicines.” The solar cooking blog I’ll do in future will have lots of examples and links of the work and sucesses of organizations like Solar Cookers International, Cedesol, Kyoto Twist and Kozon . . . etc. etc. etc. It is an uphill road for certain. Great to hear from you my friend.

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