Posted by: Brenda Kula | January 6, 2008

Warm Winter Days

After a rather uncommonly wintry week, I was able to get outside this weekend. It went from a low in the teens at night to 70 degrees yesterday. So I backwashed the fish pond. I worked all afternoon, sidestepping the two fish that call it home. My algae eater, who had grown close to a foot long, came to his demise due to the plunge in temperature. I reached down to scoop out some gravel and instead came up with his hard scaly body.

Due to a wonderful filter, which cost me close to $500 last year, the pond chores are relatively simple. You turn the knob, drain most of the water, and fill it back up. I love the simplicity, and it was worth every penny.

As soon as the weather gets as warm as it is now, though it could change any time during the winter season, I’m outside much of the time. I don flip-flops and happily snip off dead leaves, pull weeds, and daydream about what new treasures I might add to my gardens this year.

The seed catalogs come to me via mail almost daily now. I glance at their colorful covers and put them aside, so I can savor them later when the weather gets cool again and I’m apt to be stuck indoors.

For a true gardener, there’s nothing like watching the birds feeding and nesting. The sounds of springtime heralding it’s arrival. The feel of the earth between your fingers. The Eastern Bluebirds have come back to nest in the birdhouse out back. So I get to washing out the feeders and preparing for their stay. They are so beautiful with their bright blue backs and orange chests. I check out their vacation homes and nail them more soundly to the wooden fence.

The gardens are where I relax, sink into meditative repose, and forget what worries I might currently have. It is where I work through problems and gather with my neighbors to trade plants and cuttings and share expertise.

My husband does not share my love of the outdoors, though I keep urging him to come on out and sit under the canopy of the gazebo. After a hard day’s work, he’d rather be in his exercise room and watch old movies.

He does not know what he is missing. The sound of the water flowing and the scent of aromatic herbs is heaven on earth.

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