I think I mentioned in an earlier post how difficult November and December are for this girl. I love all things green and growing. Brown and dead and gray and cold are not really my jam.
My favorite season used to be Autumn; the cool crisp afternoons, those lazy Packer Sundays, leaves falling softly…blah, blah, blah. Plus, it’s my birthday season so there’s that. However, if you are a sucker for Pinterest like I am, in about the beginning of August, people start pinning away with their apple, cinnamon, caramel, macchiato drinks that may, or may not be spiked with Apple Cider Vodka or Vanilla Rum while wearing cozy cowel neck sweaters, jeans and knee-high leather boots.
Barf. August? REALLY? Last August I was still sweating my ass off harvesting cosmos, zinnias and sunflowers in a dirty tank top and flip flops. And September for that matter.
So, for good reason, Spring has become my fave. It’s all things new and bright and cheery. The first little pokes of color fight their way through the cold ground, giving us just a little glimpse of Mother Nature’s magic. But, so many of our perennials and hardy annuals need to go through the dark, cold days of winter to develop strong, robust roots so that us humans may enjoy colorful and fragrant plants in those early months of April, May and June. In our zone, these lovelies I speak of are lilacs, daffodils, tulips, peonies, iris, hellebore, hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley and more. They take their time resting before pumping out the most amazing blooms you have ever seen when they finally wake up. She’s crafty, that Mother Nature. Rest. Work. Repeat. Seems like an awfully good plan for all of us.
Which brings me to the title.
That’s how many hours of daylight we gain from January 1st through June 22nd.
That is so much time! You would think after 38 years of living in Wisco this would be ingrained in my blood. However, every year it surprises me. Gaining two and a half minutes per day of daylight can change even the scroogiest Scrooge in to a mushy, early-rising, smiler. It was 70 degrees here on Wednesday, hallelujah! (insert your own global warming opinion here) so Miles and I played football, barefoot in the yard. But, two days later, we had a good 1/2″ of ice on everything. Welcome to Wisconsin. As they say, “if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.”
Just think about how much time 5.8 hours is really. It’s enough time to take the dogs for an hour long walk, eat a hearty breakfast, harvest buckets of flowers before going to your “day job”. That’s just couple hours in the morning. You still have another few after dinner to play. And, if you are anything like me, you rise and set with the sun. You may think I am kidding, but I am in bed by 8:00pm on most evenings in the winter and sometimes that’s a struggle to make it to. But in the summer, I can be up and around easily by 4:30a, “taking laps around the yard*” and still puttering in the field until 10:00p with a full day in between.
This morning I noticed that the sun is hitting the mirror in our entryway; last week it was not. Most won’t notice that my gomphrena and nicoletta that have been over-wintering in our dining room have perked up just the slightest little bit with the extra daylight. I have. Our young weeping cherry tree, which blossoms most beautifully, had an even coat of insulating ice on her branches this week. But, she’s tough, she’ll be fine. The green buds on our 40-year-old lilac busheswere cloaked in ice too. But, I am guessing they have withstood more than a little ice over their years. Are we seeing a pattern here yet?
I sent Miles out with my phone and a mission to take “ice” photos. Mission accomplished.
There is beauty in it all. The cold and dark, the warmth and light. As I get older, I feel like there are seasons within seasons. Maybe even within one day or one month or one year. If I could sit down with her Highness Mother Nature, I would bow, kiss her hand and thank her for her wisdom. And, our Wisconsin seasons because without them…well I am a sucker for change.
By the way, we are all leaving for Florida next week to sit poolside for 8 days. Peace out Wisco.