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Seasonal Observations

I’m amazed how quickly January passed again this year.  There was a time, not long ago, when every month seemed to hang on forever and I felt like dates I looked forward to took the longest time to arrive and were over in the blink of an eye.  Now, it seems to be the opposite.  Time seems to be on fast forward and is passing by so quickly I barely have time to comprehend everything that’s taking place.  And I’ve been under the erroneous impression that while everything else is changing, I’ve remained the same.  But then I caught a brief glance of my image in the bathroom mirror and I had to stop and look again.  It was me reflecting back yet, for a moment, I thought it was my Dad.  I’ve been wearing my hair short and it was in wild disarray, my eyes were tired and puffy but he was there and then he was gone. Meanwhile my children are growing up and maturing right before my eyes, changing every time I blink, it seems.  So I’ve been looking for ways to slow down and savour the moments in order to really appreciate them.  And then I get distracted and time goes rushing past again.  

Distractions come in the form of changing cloud formations.  They’re starting to change and indicate a transition in season - and for us at this time of year it means warmer weather is on its way.  We don’t need a ground hog to tell us spring is approaching. Shadow or not, March is right around the corner. And with it, we are sure to have a storm that brings back the Crows.  Once they arrive other migratory birds follow in quick succession.  Which reminds me I need to bring the hummingbird feeders out of storage and gather the supplies I need to make ant motes so they can’t get into the feeders.  

As a gardener, specifically one who grows from seed, this is a busy time.  Petunia seeds should be planted as they take a few weeks to germinate. February is the month to start warm soil plants such as peppers.  February 15th is the deadline for ordering from seed catalogues that offer discounts on each purchase.  Some companies offer 15% off your order while others waive the shipping fee if your order exceeds $50.  I think with food prices on the rise we are going to find seedling prices jump again this year and also that more people are growing their own garden.  Even a patio garden provides significant savings once harvesting begins.

I envy those of you who have a wood working shop, skills and the tools to create your own container gardens.  I’m going the wooden pallet raised garden route again this year.  I think I’ve figured out a way to raise the garden and only use half the soil to fill the bed.  I just need to cut some plywood to fit into the midpoint of the gardens.  And I’m going to try a permanent raised strawberry bed again this year.  I’ll give it a go and see how it turns out.  One thing about gardening, it’s always an adventure, no matter what we choose to grow!  I’m curious to see if my raspberries have survived the winter.  The last three years I’ve had terrible success with adding new plants to my garden.  I specifically bought golden raspberries and I don’t think even one survived.  Last year We planted red raspberries my sister purchased and they also floundered.  I’m hoping they were simply taking time to set roots and will wake up this spring - otherwise I’ll give it one more go.  If the patch doesn’t rebound I’ll have to reconsider what I’m going to grow in that area of the garden. I think it’s time to add new plants to my rhubarb bed as well.   I understand why this plant hasn’t been doing so well in my garden - my children barely let the tender stalks reach a mature length before they pick it and eat it raw, fresh out of the garden.  They chew on the rhubarb and stay hydrated during warm days but if I cook it into a pie or cobbler, they turn their nose up at it.  But I’ve found a recipe for rhubarb punch that I think might win them over.  It’s a new to me recipe and I’m hoping it will freeze well so I can make ice pops and slush for the children from it. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s for me too!

The birds at my feeder tell me the weather is not going to be quite so chilly this week.  When we are in for cold weather the birds are all plumped up and their feathers make their bodies appear fat when they’re actually insulating to stay warm.  When it really cold, they don’t even venture out of their nests.  I have a like mind, as I hear the wind whistling outside my door and watch the exhaust from the chimneys swirl down towards the ground, I want to hunker down under warm blankets and keep warm too.  I finished the sunflower Afghan I was working on and I’m between projects right now.  I have an excessive amount of red wool I should be working up into something but I’m unsure what I wish to make… something different and I’m waiting to get the creative juices flowing before the crochet bug hits me again. And as I write this sentence, a picture has popped into my head that requires an internet search to see if I can find a pattern to make it.   

But now it’s time for a story and cuddle with one of my boys.  He’s come because his back is itchy but I know what he’s up to.  It starts with an itchy back, turns into a story, ends in a back rub and before I know it, he’s having a snooze.  It’s one of the best observations of this season I’ve noticed so far - the one where on the coldest of days we find memories are waiting to be made that just warm our hearts.

Take care and have a great week, everyone!

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Wednesday March 13, 2024