Lebanon Reporter

Columns

February 13, 2014

Winter's shoveling soon to be replaced by springtime's gardening

During the deepest part of winter, especially with the way this winter has been so far, people sometimes begin to reflect on dark and depressing thoughts that seem to match the darkness outside. Cabin fever is probably the most accurate description for these feelings. Many people are excited at seeing the first snowfall and wait in anticipation, hoping that we will have a white Christmas. Once January rolls around, many folks begin to drop off of the “I love the winter” bandwagon. And by the beginning of February, that wagon is becoming rather empty. It more resembles the aisles in a Walmart store a few days after all of the unwanted presents have been exchanged and no one is in the mood for shopping. I’ve been to ghost towns that had more activity.

The month of February has brought us both heavy, wet snows and our first thaw of the New Year. Unfortunately, any snow that melted has been quickly replaced by more snow, along with icy formations weighing down our gutters and downspouts. This time of year can bring several inches of snow or freezing rain, but at the same time it begins to breathe life back into our souls by giving us signs that spring can’t be far away. Last year at this time, I saw a female robin that looked much worse for the wear And last week, I spied what appeared to be the same bird, sitting on one of our Plum trees. It looked like “death warmed over in a microwave.” I am not certain whether or not she missed the boat that was sailing south or took an early train back to Indiana. I doubt that this poor little creature has been able to find any food, since she mostly devours worms and insects.I wonder just how many folks, who normally spend their effort and money on killing dandelions, would give their right arm now just to see one popping through the snow. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to remember just how pleasant a tomato vine smells as you brush up against its leaves, or how wonderful a Lilac bush smells when it is loaded down with those better-than-perfume smelling blossoms. Oh, who can hardly wait until someone revs up their mower and begins to cut the grass for the very first time of the year? How aromatic that can be as it gives off a scent that can, at times, be described as smelling like fresh-cut watermelon.

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