Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in the Garden, At Last

Is It Winter or Spring?

During the snow storm, I’d taken apart my two piece terra cotta birdbaths and laid the tops—the basins—on the ground. In past years the weight of snow and ice would tip over the birdbaths, but not any more! In February I’ll reassemble them—for now they’ll stay put in case we have another cold front.

So this mild January morning, the birds were creative and found their own natural birdbath—the little bog had filled to the brim with rainwater. Splashing away freely, several robins sang heartily enough to wake me from my writing trance. I watched them through my office window, grabbing binoculars for a closer look. Plump, russet-breasted birds reveled in the fresh water, fluttering their wings and spraying droplets all around them. Oh yes! Then, flying across the garden, they swooped low and high. Praising the sun, the moisture, the worms now easy to pull from damp and mossy lawn.

Reluctantly, I left for an aerobics class at the gym, but made sure to drive straight home afterwards, without getting sidetracked. The afternoon remained dry and temperate, a perfect time for a reunion with my beloved garden—I’d been missing my connection with the earth for some weeks now.

I celebrated, along with the birds. Was it winter or spring? On Sunday it was snowing and today it was mild as May. It’s hard not to get spring fever when the birds are singing and bright green moss springs up through the lawn from so much moisture. I got out my long-handled loppers and pruned a big yellow-twig dogwood, taking out the thick older trunks, and leaving the newer, brighter stems. I raked up the last of the spiny sweet gum seedpods from the lawn, and filled the yard debris can to the top. I’ll sleep soundly tonight!

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