Sunday, March 1, 2009

March blessings to you

What delights us in the spring is more a sensation than an appearance, more a hope than any visible reality. There is something in the softness of the air, in the lengthening of the days, in the very sounds and odors of the sweet time, that caresses us and consoles us after the rigorous weeks of winter. ~Philip Gilbert Hamerton

So... spring is coming. And yes, even though I love winter, the snow, the sense of solitude, hearthside and stillness it brings for its season... my soul is feverish for spring and the desire to get started on the accumulating projects that beckon me from all around the farm. And I am longing once again for the anticipation spring carries; from the melting snows to the first chirrups of peepers in the wetlands, the lonesome calls of the owls as the sun settles for the evening, the return of the coyotes from the deeper parts of the woods, the first spurt of blue chiondoxa (glory-of-the-snow) and white snowdrops that push up through the last bits of snow, and the pussywillow catkins that burst forth from the cocoons they've wrapped themselves in all winter long.
It is March, and I still need to rig up a heater for the greenhouse to start seedlings within the next few weeks. I've warned my mother that the first project we will tackle when the mud dries up somewhat is to repair the fenceline around the furthest garden... the one that surrounds the blueberries, currants, gooseberries, strawberries and raspberries. The deer have managed to get in throughout the winter, so we will have to run it high enough to keep them out for the growing season. The next garden project is to transplant the Rhubarb, Horseradish, Egyptian and Welsh Onions to the opposite end of the vegetable garden, and finish digging out the Jerusalem Artichokes and planting them elsewhere, as they never should have gone in the garden in the first place! I want to also try installing cattle panel arches for the tomatos, cukes, squash, beans, peas, and gourds to climb on. But there are still piles of snow covering everything everywhere, so I will continue to yearn for longer, sunnier, warmer days (and contine thinking of chores needing doing!) Meantime, if we get another snowstorm, I won't be too upset! After all... it is March!
Here is a snow lantern that I built last week when we received another 6 inches of heavy snow! It stood on a snowbank just off the path leading to the kitchen and stood about 3 feet tall. We were able to light this for several nights, but it has now succumbed to the sun and warm temperatures. I was in my glory building snow sculptures last week... but soon tired of it when they began collapsing around me!

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