Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hope springs eternal

Wow; this weekend was one of those rare occurrences when you just can't help but be happy to be alive.

The weather was 70ยบ Saturday in the Ozarks, which provided my husband and me, the opportunity to do a little yard maintenance.  

As shown at left, we burned the some  flower beds, making very short work of the fallen leaves and grass that had invaded it. 

What otherwise would have taken days of back-breaking work to pull the offending weeds was taken care of in about an hour. 

Burning offers a good, organic approach. It was not a practice we've ever employed before. It wasn't allowed where we used to live. Fire is so much better than using chemicals on botanical nuisances. Besides, I like the smell of it. 

If I stare at this darkened patch in the front yard long enough, I can imagine it to be black dirt, rather than the charred remains of spent oak leaves. 

Moving to the Ozarks from the Chicago area several years ago, it was difficult for me to reconcile the difference in techniques necessary to guarantee gardening success. Where the ground here contains rocks and clay, which presents a real challenge. Yet there I was used to digging in the rich, black loam left by the same glaciers that formed the Great Lakes thousands of years ago. There was also an abundance of rain farther north which is certainly not the case here during the summer months.

So while I still consider myself a novice, I'm learning to garden again, however, as evidenced by my second picture--the coming of the daffodils. 

This tells me that despite the prediction of the largest winter storm of the season that bears down on us, hope springs eternal. 

Spring will come, in about 50 days, to be exact. Our beautiful weekend was just a tease, but when it happens for real, it will be easy to settle into a warm-weather routine. 

I so love the Spring. I love the Spring flowers. These venerable little daffodils always surprise and delight me. They seem to hide beneath the leaves until we humans clear away their leafy blanket. Once we do, and the sun shines brightly on them, they seem to grow taller ever day until the magic moment when they become flowers. I will never tire of this Springtime ritual. 

Now if only we can make it through the next winter storm unscathed.