Monday, December 28, 2015

What's A Gardener To Do?

I paint, this...
The days are getting longer. I can virtually hear the collective sign of all my fellow gardeners!

Still, it is a long way off until Spring.

...and, walls...
So fortunate for the people in my life they do not stand still long enough...

Many peruse the stack of catalogs arriving daily in the mail and increasingly more so, the internet. We dream of gardens not yet planted. With days hitting nearly forty degrees and night dipping into the upper twenties, I consider whether I might try some kale in the unfrozen soil in the huge pot on my deck. Foolishness, surely... (Yes, foolishness, a blizzard is hitting us as I type with "real snow"...)

But maybe not? Is this the new normal? Will the sort of winter fueled by the effects of El Nino on the jet stream change our world?

As a gardener, I might pay a bit more attention to the weather than some, but it would be naïve to think the weather is not changing in some subtle way.

Our village's Millpond flows into Lake Poygan and eventually into the Winnebago which I believe has its outlet in Lake Michigan. Its official name is Millpond, which does not say a lot for the naming gene around here. Unfortunately, as the first white settlers came here and dammed a small creek (pronounced "crick" in these parts) a stone's throw from one of its springs, there is no romantic Indian name for this impoundment. Waushara County is unusual in that a diagonal line divides the waters here. Some flowing to Lake Michigan, others to the Mississippi and onto the Gulf of Mexico.

Before Christmas it rained 4 1/2 inches in one day. These pictures are remarkable. I have not seen free-flowing water this high in these locations in my life, let alone in mid-December.

Please excuse the strange perspective of this panoramic shot from my iPhone.

The wind accompanying today's blizzard circled around and is coming from the northeast. This is surely some sort of hellish aberration. Our weather this time of year typically comes out of the northwest. (In the spring the first balmy air is from the southwest, I can sense the change of seasons when that happens.)
Possibly, our weather has finally turned to winter. On the bright side, the days are lengthening and I count 85 days until spring, at least by the calendar. Prepare the stack of catalogs, start your sprouts or micro-greens, prepare for seed starting, cook, bake, paint, or watch movies of the zombie apocalypse, and hunker down; the winter siege begins in earnest today.
...85, 84...

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