There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~Ruth Stout
Each season brings with it a change in the natural rhythms and cycles. When I think of spring, I think of new fresh growth, bright green shoots coming up everywhere, and flowers beginning to bloom again. In contrast, winter is a quiet time. A time where I can reflect and meditate while the snow gently falls outside. And after the frenzy of the garden season where everything is growing, blooming and fruiting at once, we all need a break; both the garden and gardener.
Our winter starts in November and carries on into early April with cold, frigid temps and over 120 inches of snow. And with the long, cold, white lingering for months on end, anyone could go crazy and lose their mind, especially the gardener. Instead of thinking about the negative aspects of the season, I try to mark each seasonal change with a celebration of sorts. A tribute or theme to help me focus during this time. To go with the flow instead of fighting nature.
This winter will be especially interesting as it will be my first in retirement. I have lots of projects planned, and I hope they will be enough to sustain me while I am away from my garden. Of course I can hope for an easy winter with less snow, but that only means my garden will be missing necessary moisture and nourishment, not to mention the helpful insulation snow gives my precious plants against the raw, cold wind blowing. No I want a long, warm spring instead so I will wait through my winter.
To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring. ~W.J. Vogel
One of the wonders of winter is the yummy comfort food. During winter I love to make warm, nutritious soups and stews. Some using the fruits of my garden like garlic, onions, potatoes and frozen tomatoes and herbs. They bring the veg garden back, and have me thinking about what my garden will look like next year. Should I make more room for winter squash next year. I think so.
I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth
As a gardener I use wintertime to contemplate the garden. By seeing the clean canvas created by the snow, I can imagine all that the garden could be. I am not constricted by the garden that was, but open to the garden that could be. I will be working on many garden ideas and designs. Trying to map out what structure is present in each garden, the plants growing there, the issues and maintenance needed and what if any redesigns may be useful. Lots of time to plan as I wander the garden on foot with my drawing pad and camera.
What a wild winter sound,— wild and weird, up among the ghostly hills…. I get up in the middle of the night to hear it. It is refreshing to the ear, and one delights to know that such wild creatures are among us. At this season Nature makes the most of every throb of life that can withstand her severity. ~John Burroughs
My senses are heightened in winter. I hear the howling wind making music through the trees like wind chimes, and the clear call of the woodpeckers as they swoop back and forth from the suet feeder to the trees. The bright blue of the bluebird feathers dazzles my eyes as they nestle in the snow-covered branches.
I hope to use this introspective time in winter to write more. Yes I will continue to write posts for both blogs, but I am looking to develop some other writing projects and the quiet time of winter is the perfect setting.
Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition. ~Mignon McLaughlin
This year during my retirement I have been working on improving my health. And while winter can make it harder to do this, I still love to get out and breath in the cold, crisp air. Snowshoeing and walks around the neighborhood and garden are a perfect way to get out and about. And they provide great vistas to capture the magic and wonders of winter with my camera as I continue to explore my creativity.
My winter mantra:
Winter can make us feel so isolated sometimes as we are forced inside due to the weather. And I can feel lost without my garden in winter, but there are so many wonders in winter. Simple wonders I would not want to miss. The soft snow falling, and covering up the whole landscape making new and interesting forms in the garden. The mysterious tracks around the garden as wildlife finds sustenance. The bright sun bouncing off the white sparkling snow lighting up the blue sky canvas. I will honor these wonders this winter. Continuing my year of rest and reflection as I await the dawn of the new spring when life is renewed, and we sing rejoicing.
The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread. ~John Burroughs
So as I explore the wonders of winter, and celebrate this new season I hope you will join the celebration. All you have to do is write a post between now and December 21st. Then leave a comment on this post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on December 22nd.
I do hope you will consider joining in celebrating the new season in your corner of the world.
Next up on the blog: Monday will be time to review the November Garden. And Wednesday I will have another wildlife post.
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