Friday, February 01, 2008

Forward to Spring

Last night I was chatting online with a couple of friends in Uganda. I mentioned that we would have an ice storm in the evening. They both said "Sorry." I really wasn't looking for sympathy. Ice clearly can reek havoc, but I wasn't anticipating that kind of storm, rather anticipating the novelty of ice covering everything. On my way to the grocery store today, I did notice that a great white pine which I've admired many times along the route was downed by the ice. Curious because I encountered little other damage, nonetheless evidence that ice can be quite damaging.

Ice comes not with the bitter cold, but when it's warm enough to rain, yet still cold enough to freeze. I must have rained pretty hard during the night because the drainage ditch that cuts across the property was full with a Spring flow. It's colder now and a dusting of snow covers the ground. The water in the ditch has slowed, but still enough to make sounds after a long silent month of January.

Back at the turn of the century, when I was just getting used to having a computer and being online, I started writing an infrequent essays as the incompetent gardener using a list service called Topica. I'm not good at backing up my files and have lost a couple of computers. Not so long ago I thought of those essays and wondered if they were still on line. It seems they were, but can't seem to find them tonight, but I copied them then.

I am an incompetent gardener. I like gardening and would like to write more often about gardening. Icy wet days like today, when I yet again have to gather some wood to heat my house make me long for Spring. Not so far from where I live is a town called Punxsutawney, where even as I write this people are beginning to gather , around bon fires, for the occasion of Ground Hog Day. It's a funny custom brought by German immigrants, where whether or not a designated ground hog, a rather larger relative of squirrels common in these parts, sees his shadow. With that there is a prediction of six more weeks of winter, or occasionally a prediction of an early spring. I only pay attention to the local ground hog Punxsutawney Phil, but from the Wikipedia article on Ground Hog Day I see there are many other famous ground hog weather prognosticators.

The truth of the matter is that it will be cold for a while yet, but it's getting time to think about spring and the garden.

Part of my rational for copying the old Incompetent Gardener essays was the hope that I could have some ready made posts. With just a little revsion, I thought, those would make fine posts. I'm not so sure now. I entitled this post Seeds thinking I could rework a piece on seed catalogs. But the post didn't really interest me too much so I thought I start fresh and just use the list of seed company Web sites I'd put together.

Alas, if I take the idea of revision seriously, in a post about seeds I'd have to edit out that bit about ground hogs. But I just wrote that and if I edit and revise I'd never post a post. Oh well, I just changed the title of this post. Maybe I'll get around to talking about seeds another time.

Since I mentioned the ditch that drains the farm fields next to our property, I'll point to a nice Paul Krafel video posted by Michael at Wrythings called The Upward Spiral. It's quite an inspiring video and makes me think more about my gardening. It's inspiring to think that even my incompetent gardening can create something beautiful and useful.

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