Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spring in January?

We've had an exceptionally warm January. My honeysuckle thinks it's spring.

It's sending out leaves.

And this pansy is spreading and getting new blooms.

If we get some mild freezes before real spring, I'm not too worried about the pansies. They were hardy enough to survive this winter. Plus pansies are often plentiful and cheap not only in nurseries but outside the local grocery stores. I spent a bit more on the honeysuckle; I forget how much, but over $10 I think, and last summer was the first summer I planted it, so I don't know how it takes severe weather. I bought it to try to attract hummingbirds. My fear is it will bloom, then the weather will freeze and all the blooms will get killed. Nothing I can do about it, though. It'll either happen or it won't, no matter what I do. So I might as well get a good night's sleep.

I'll wake up tomorrow and it will be a month closer to spring.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January is drawing to a close

Tomorrow is the last day of January. I don't think I'll be sorry to see it go, although I will be sorry to see the weekend end. January and February are my 11th and 12th favorite months. I don't know which is in 11th and which is in 12th; maybe it's a tie. January has one happy holiday, and that's New Year's Day. That's still a day you spend relaxing with your family.

However, within a week or two, you can hardly remember what it felt like to have that warm, gezellig experience.

You're in the gray, drab workaday world.

And January is long.

What February has going for it is (1) it's short and (2) it's closer to spring than January is. So I guess January is my 12th favorite month and February is my 11th favorite. Just as winter is my 4th favorite season.

In March, I start thinking about going to local nurseries and buying baby plants, but I try not to. Local lore, as passed on to me by my dad, is that you're not safe from a freeze at night until after Mother's Day, which is in May. You don't want to spend a lot on plants that get killed within a few weeks by frost, although, well, that has happened to me. Maybe not that I spent a lot, but that I bought plants when it was too early to put them out. I hunger for them, in some kind of spiritual and aesthetic way.

Sometime in April, Lynden Christian School has a pancake breakfast fundraiser, and then some student group -- FFA? -- sells baby plants that day too. Last year the lady selling to me kept warning me that the plants I was buying were still "tender" and had to stay under cover. I kept them under the roof of the upper deck until it was safe to put them out further.

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

(Song of Solomon 2:11-13a)

We're not there yet, but we're on our way.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Where have all the proofreaders gone?

This evening, I read an online article that used "discrete" when it meant "discreet," and another that used "disbursed" when it meant "dispersed."

Just because spellcheck doesn't highlight a word doesn't make it right.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Splish splash

Birds cavorting in the bird bath this sunny morning.

You have to look right at the bird bath and see the water fly.

You can tell it's still winter because I'm filming through my window between the deck chairs that are piled up there. How many more weeks until I can start planting flowers again? And how long until I can sit out there enjoying it all?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winter sunshine

We had a lot of rain yesterday, then a heavy dewfall last night. This morning when the sun came up, the water evaporated into the air.

At first it was foggy, then it became more of a misty sunshine.

What a mood-lifter.

A winter pansy.

Pansies are such a beautiful flower. How lovely to get a bloom in January.

Late in the afternoon, it clouded over again and became rather chilly. Well, it is January. A mild, sunny morning is a gift. It would be ungrateful to complain that it didn't last.

Last winter was so relentlessly cold. This winter, it is cold sometimes, but it does relent. This morning was one of the softer, kinder weather moments.

Shadows on the walls

The sun was out for a while this morning and created these beautiful shadows.