12 February 2011

A Little Midwinter Miscellany

Most of the time, I don't mind winter. I really don't. It's an important part of life in much of North America, and it's crucial for both the garden and the gardener. It's a time for plants to rest, and gardeners to look back at what we have done in the past, and look ahead at what we plan for the future. It's a good season for catching up on our reading.
However...the past two weeks have been a bit much, and this week in particular has been so over the top as to be absurd. We are not just blanketed in snow: we are quilted, duveted, down-comfortered and Arctic-sleepingbagged with the stuff. It's not just a few inches deep--it's a few FEET deep. As in this drift, which is well over four feet tall and extends across the back of the garden.



However...while we're dealing with digging out such little snow adventures as these, which are covering many of our shrubs completely, (to say nothing of everything else in the garden...
We remember that there have been, and will be again, days full of sunlight, warmth, foliage and flowers.
That while we had to shovel our way OUT THE DOOR to get off the back deck yesterday,
We know perfectly well that we will, one day not too awfully far in the future, step out on the deck and breathe in the fragrance of roses, phlox, lilies and more.
Meanwhile, the celebration of the snow buntings continue. What began as a modest handful or dozen of these charming little birds has swelled into the several hundreds, coming daily, all day every day, to feed on the assorted seeds we put out for them. One can spend much time mesmerized by these little charmers, who are almost constantly moving. Now you see us...
And now you don't. Watching them dance round the yard, sailing from the barn to the house to the trees to the ground and into the air again, is a pure delight--perfect for a Skywatch Friday celebration.

Watching the buntings is a great way to pass the time, and they sort of remind me that their behaviour mirrors that of winter. One day, probably within the next few weeks, the buntings will up and leave, beginning their long migration back to the Arctic, where they breed, nest, and oversummer. The same way, one day winter will decide it's had its way with us long enough, and it will start to relinquish its grip. The snow will melt...it really will...
And the harbingers of spring will begin to ease us out of our gardens of the mind and into our gardens of the dirt. It'll be here before we know it.

Or so I keep telling myself.

27 comments:

  1. Hi Jodi, It seems winters here in Canada get longer with each year. I am done with this one, bring on spring.

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  2. You have so much to look forward to in your gardens...

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  3. Thank you for putting this dreariest of seasons in perspective. The snow will melt. We will survive the shoe-sucking 'swamp' season in the spring. And the flowers will bloom again, gladdening our hearts.
    Armed with your new book, I hope to create some beauty in my barren landscape this spring! Then I too will have something to cling to next year and beyond during the bleak winter nights.

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  4. Dear Jodi, Although in the depths of winter it is good for the spirit to remind oneself of the flowers which are yet to come, I do not mind these days of lethargy and book reading.

    How beautiful are your Snow Buntings, and in such numbers. Yes, I can easily see that one would be fascinated with their antics and a whole day goes past without realising!!

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  5. THAT is a lot of snow indeed. I hope it soon leaves as this winter has been so white I am ready for green too. I so adore those snow buntings. Never seen them or heard of them until I read about them on your blog. They are such a treat for me just seeing the pictures so I can imagine the delight in watching them in person!

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  6. We are buried also, Jodi. The birds do create an interesting diversion from the tedious white covering the garden.

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  7. Jodi look at those gorgeous garden pics...your drifts are much like what I see all winter so I know the despair to want some green soon...by the way congrats on the book...I already reserved a copy and cannot wait to get it...

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  8. Wow...that is so much snow! You do have a lot of down comforters and quilts layered. A beautiful garden is just sleeping ... I bet you are ready to turn on the alarm clock. :)

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  9. You so aptly describe my sentiments about Winter. Ours has been exceptionally cold and I'm ready for a change now. Lovely post.

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  10. Jodi:
    And I shall immediately cease complaining about not having anywhere to put the snow from the drive.... you're quite right about being duveted in snow..... happy thoughts my friend!

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  11. I hear ya, I hear ya! I am getting somewhat tired of snow also...I think...no I know we have enough until next Dec.. I want spring!!! Your blue arbour still looks pretty even if it is half buried! lol

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  12. Let's not call it a snow drift, just call it a insulation blanket for the upcoming flowers.

    That's a little excessive isn't it?

    Hope it all goes away soon for you.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  13. Jodi, what wonderful photos of the snow buntings. How lucky you are to have these little birds in your yard to watch. I don't know about you but my arms are swelling with muscles from all this shoveling!

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  14. this is an amazingly snowy year. I am grateful for the insulation on the garden because it has also been really really cold, and I like thinking of all the snowmelt seeping into the soil and ground water.

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  15. The snow buntings are enchanting, Jodi - and how lucky they are that you're watching out for them when the snow is deep. Crocus days ahead!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  16. I had to laugh at your first few lines about the blanketing of snow. In my state much further south in North America, we had three snowstorms in two weeks (bit storms with lots and lots of the freakin' fluffy stuff), and then there was the cold, the Fahrenheit dipped into the negative teens, and I thought where am I? Nova Scotia. Fortunately, the weather gods decided to give us a break, and today we hit 62F. I rejoiced dancing in the mud looking for signs of life. Hope you will soon too. That's a lot of snow.~~Dee

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  17. Hi Jodi, It would seem that our gardens currently look much the same... like snow. LOL! I've got a good 4' out back and at least 5-6' out front!

    You are quite right... soon enough we'll be welcoming the thaw and signs of Spring! Cheers!

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  18. I always hate winter, so I feel for you!

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  19. Hello Jodi,
    after no snow in December, very little in January, now our garden is buried under 30cm of the lovely white stuff.
    But there is some warmer weather in the forecast and I can't wait to see some snowdrops.
    Snow Buntings? Have not seen many in our area. But many woodpecker arrive on suet feeders.
    - Cheers Gisela.

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  20. That. Most definitely. Is snow.

    There have been huge flocks of something wheeling around us recently. We aren't sure if they are redwing on the prowl or starlings returned from Africa . . . or something else! Whatever they are, their arrival suggests a change in weather/season.

    Esther

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  21. Im enjoying your scenes of thick white snow in your garden and every where! But looking forward to your beautiful flowers in spring soon!

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  22. You gave me my afternoon giggle when I read that you don't mind winter. Tee hee... When I saw these photos of that deep snow I can see why you are not liking it this year. Whew, that is a lot of snow. Hang in there Jodi. Keep looking at all of those beautiful photos of your garden. Love the snow buntings too. You are lucky to have them in your garden. We see a few of them all the way down here.

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  23. I've read four blogs today and each has focused on this same theme. It seems to be a general consensus right now. However no one had snow like you've got snow. Here's to a happy warm up. Soon!

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  24. Blooming Gardener, I want to thank you for your delightful blog. Since I finally obtained my own (albeit tiny) yard I've been an avid reader. Thanks to your blog I purchased a witch hazel ("Diane") last year in hopes of alleviating the misery of that dreadful stretch you call "Farch". Yesterday I noticed that the flower buds are starting to open- tiny ruby-red spots in the snow! I ran all around the house squealing with joy and phoning people, who no doubt think I'm loony.

    Lisa in Halifax

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  25. That is a whole lot of snow. It's amazing to think of all the flowers that are just waiting to bloom underneath all of it. I loved seeing the winter and summer pictures. Hope some of that snow starts melting soon.

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  26. I understand exactly how you feel, Jodi--I don't mind winter...for awhile. We're supposed to get much warmer temperatures this week, so maybe some of the white stuff will melt.

    Love your new header photo! I have one very similar that I took in my own garden this summer; I look at it sometimes to remind me that summer is not that very far away.

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  27. For two years, but not last year, we had a three foot snow pack on the garden that didn't leave until March. Count on the delay...

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