and the next day, puffing them out
and here's that tight bud above, several days later, just hanging loose,
and the third one, starting to open.
I wondered if any poets have ever sung in praise of the peony, and voila! I found this exquisite haiku from Basho, the Zen poet of the 17th century. Across time and culture, he captures the wonder of the peony perfectly:
The bee emerging
from deep within the peony