December “Up North”

For a month now, we’ve been waiting for snow. We had such a good start in November but since then the temperatures have been between the high teens and a bit less than 40. The early snow has gradually melted in all but the shadiest, most protected places. In some ways this mild streak of temperatures is nice but it puts a damper on those who are waiting to ski, snowmobile or just see more of the pretty white stuff.

We were very hopeful about the winter storm that was forecast for last night. And sure enough, when I looked out in the dark this morning, I could tell by the streetlights that we had new snow. We also had a good chance of more precipitation in some form, but it was 37 degrees – that meant it would likely be rain not snow.

My brother is responsible for snow removal in the small development that he manages. I help him when I can. He runs a small machine with a plow, called a skid steer, and I shovel close to the houses where he can’t easily go with the machine. There are 12 dwellings. It’s a good upper body workout, yes it is.

But I like to shovel snow most of the time. This snow was wet and heavy. There really should be different names for all the different kinds of snow, and there are a few, I guess. This snow was white and pretty on top but slush underneath. Slush is heavy, being mostly water trapped in collapsing snow particles. When I pushed the shovel through 3 to 4 inches of this stuff it would curl up in a roll until it was too heavy for me to make it move. If I’d been out to play instead of work, it would have made super, sticky snowballs.

And the more I thought about it (play), I decided I was not an “all work” girl. Making a giant snowball is a pretty nifty way of clearing a path, so I did that a couple of times and ended up with a snowman. By this time it was raining instead of snowing. I had a hard time getting Frosty’s eyes and nose to stay on his face for a picture but I persisted. Mom is not “all work” either. She suggested one of her hats would look good on him, so that’s why he got photographed twice – the second time with a somewhat more glorified nose.

The Approach of Summer

In one direction we have this...
In one direction we have this…
and in the other direction something different approaches.
and in the other direction something different approaches.

The rains have started to come in the afternoon. I am trying to get a walk in between showers because I’ve been stationary for several days – I just need to get out.

It is more than beautiful everywhere I look because it’s all been washed and refreshed.  Little jewels of water sit on all the big leaves.  There are at least a hundred different shades of green and they all seem to vibrate, glow.

wpid-20150517_183328.jpg

wpid-20150517_183106.jpg

wpid-20150517_183028.jpgwpid-20150517_194458.jpg

resurrection fern coming to life
resurrection fern coming to life

This is a stunningly complex and gorgeous world.  We need to look at it and let it say what it has to say.  It’s not randomly beautiful.  It’s that way on purpose.  We’ve been given a gift and it makes me feel… well, loved I guess.  Just sayin’.

Get Out!

I’ve been out in the oneacrewoods, which is what I call my yard because… well, you know why.  It’s the time of year in Florida when outdoors is like a very, very big room with perfect air conditioning and perfect lighting and pretty much perfect everything else.  On days like this I just want to live out there.

I was out weeding the strawberry beds before the husband left for work this morning.  I got it all done. And in preparation for possible colder weather in December and January, I re-positioned my greenhouse supports to better fit my square foot garden boxes. I took down all the shade cloth since we now have the opposite problem of not enough sun.  I raked, hoed, got dirt under my fingernails. I smelled the arugula and the citronella. I watched the squirrels (population explosion there).  I tried to figure out where all the bees were coming from (still don’t know…) I counted how many different sounds I could hear – 10, counting the far away traffic.  It was a sensual workout.

As lovely as it can be inside our houses, I think we were meant to be outside a good deal of the time.  In practically every part of our world, life of some kind thrives outside where there’s sunlight and water and nutrients. Quite remarkable really, that everything we need is here. After a couple hours of fresh air and sunshine I feel like I’ve had an attitude adjustment as well – there’s something freeing about all that’s going on out there without my having to be in control of it, or even give it a thought.  I’m just sayin’, I wish everyone could be here this morning (although it would possibly get a little crowded).  I think I’ll quit writing and get out.

square foot garden beds
square foot garden beds
strawberry pineapple patch
strawberry pineapple patch
Image
salad patch
Image
flower frenzy
Image
texture and color