Friday, March 04, 2022

Friday Ramble - Getting Through March (Sheepishly)


March came in like a lioness, and then the lady stepped away for two whole days.  Within her brief absence, finches paired off amorously, and starlings chirped merrily from the shadows, pretending they were robins. Cardinals sang courtship songs in the cedar hedge and fed each other choice morsels from the bird feeders in the garden. For an hour or so, there was a real robin about, and it looked as though there would be an early maple syrup run. Silly me, I dared to entertain hopeful thoughts - nursery catalogs, peat pots and seed packets bloomed on every surface in the little blue house in the village.

Such days do happen sometimes in March, but I should have known better than to indulge in fanciful springtime notions. The weather here will be arctic for quite a while, and no mistake. Storms will appear out of nowhere every few days, dumping several inches of white stuff. Ice thick enough to skate on will gloss everything in sight, houses, trees, vehicles, hydro lines, fields and fences. The north wind will roar and fling heaps of snow against the door of the garden shed. It looks like I won't be getting in there for a while, but then I don't need gardening tools right now, and I won't for some time. 

The icicles at the back of the house are impressive this year, proof that the sun is actually doing something up there (when it shines), but the snowdrifts down below are deep enough to get lost in. Tumps of frozen earth and faded grasses emerge briefly out of the dunes now and then, but they vanish when another snow squall turns up out of the blue, and there is always another snow squall waiting in the wings.

On sunny mornings, I find myself listening for returning Canada geese overhead, but the great birds will be late coming home this year. There is not a single desiccated corn stalk to be seen anywhere. Everything is buried, and it will be several weeks until the snow recedes enough for geese to find food in the stubble of local farm fields.

What to do at such times?  I drink black coffee strong enough to require a fork, make endless pots of tea, stir soup and and pummel bread dough. When sleep defeats me, I plot new beds of vegetables and herbs to be dug (hopefully) next month, research heirloom roses, lay out the design for another quilt. I cultivate forbearance and try to be cheerful when snow falls again and ice turns the threshold into a skating rink. I hope ardently that Lady March will get her act together and morph into a fluffy wee lamb.

At the end of winter, one becomes a tad maudlin.  When a friend in the Lanark Highlands told me this week that spring lambs are about to be born in her magnificent old log barn, I could have cried. Poor wee beasties, coming into the world in such circumstances.

Night skies have been fabulous this winter, flaming sunsets and lustrous moons one can almost reach up and touch, planets dancing in the southern sky at dusk, stars strewn by generous handfuls from the vast cosmic cauldron overhead. It is absolutely freezing standing out in the garden and looking up after dark, but I do it anyway. 

Thought for the day: Why are there so few words for snow in the English language? Goddess knows, we get enough of it up here. 

1 comment:

Barbara R. said...

I shan't tell you I had open windows yesterday. I will only send a breath of warmth your direction, also knowing snow can return here in the next month. But it has all cleared out probably for this year...thanks for sharing your cold whiteness. It can sure become tiresome and a strain on anyone's nerves, or as they say around here, on your last nerve!