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Wonders of Nature

Waiting for spring to come seems like forever.  I should have be used to it by now, roughly three months of cold, wet weather with snow on the ground or freezing rain before I can garden outside again.  But, it’s never been that easy.

When plant and seed catalogs start to fill up my mailbox that’s when I start getting itchy.  Seeing new plants I want to put in the garden and looking outside for good spots to put them makes me feel helpless.  I want so much to be out weeding, pruning and digging in the garden, but it’s beyond my control.  In years past, I would spend time down in the basement among the tropical plants, some of whom still flower in winter, as consolation.

With a beehive sitting out in the garden for the first time this year, I go outside more in winter.  I  schedule a check on the hive once a week to make sure they are fine: no dead bees blocking the entrance, no woodpecker holes, no raccoon or skunk break-in evidence.  I would check on it more often than once a week if the weather were more erratic to make sure that no snow blocked either main or top entrances and nothing was blown off the hive.  What can I say, they are part of our family now like the other wildlife in our garden.  The ones that are willing to co-exist and share with others are welcome and we try to treat them all well.  I’m not going to mention the ones that are not well behaved like the house sparrows, etc.

On my last trip out to check on the hive, I also saw other signs of life here and there.  Green!  I’m not talking about pine trees, yews (Taxus) and rhododendrons, but little greens that cling to the ground or on the trees.  Snowdrops (Galanthus) have pushed their little tips above the melting snow.  Ferns stay fresh, and lichen and mosses look crisp.  We had single digit temperatures outside a couple of days ago, but there is no sign of frost burn or wilting on them now at all.

It’s a different kind of beauty, a different kind of toughness.  One hundred million years of nature nurtured.

Fern on rock

Fern on rock

Lichen on a Birch trunk

Lichen on a Birch trunk

Moss and Maple leaf

Moss and Maple leaf

Moss and tree roots

Moss and tree roots

Happy wet moss

Happy wet moss

Snowdrops

Snowdrops