Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Jerry-rigged Gardening

DSCN2242 I threw together a makeshift cold frame today, using some old storm windows that have been lying around in the garage. They fit almost perfectly over the existing bed, with enough space underneath to get some seedlings going before the weather turns for the better. 2013’s first cold season crop is coming soon!DSCN2238

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Spring continues to creep up, almost imperceptibly. While out walking Moose on the canal I noticed small colorful waterfowl that hadn’t been there days before when I went out looking for manifestations of spring. And yet, here they were, returning much more surreptitiously than their noisy goose counterparts–wood ducks! I feel a special fondness for the diminutive wood ducks, mainly because I had never seen one in the Midwest until we moved to Rocky Ripple. They seem to like it here as much as I do. I was glad to see their funny little faces again.

Yesterday, I went out to play with Moose in the backyard on a rather gray and gloomy day. Earlier that morning I had had to scrape snow off my car windows before heading out to work. I wasn’t feeling very springy, but the temperature had mellowed out some, and I found myself poking around in the garden. I decided that it was about time I turned the compost pile. Lo and behold, I found dozens of earthworms deep in the thick of the pile, doing their work tirelessly while I thought the whole natural world was in hibernation. Thanks to them, I will have rich fertilizer to spread in my garden beds come May.

While the robins splashed in the puddle at the bottom of my neighbor’s (not well-drained) yard, I made further inspections, eager to spot the very first signs of new growth and promise of fresh food to come. I found several holes in the garden where some animal had pulled up the remaining carrots I had missed months ago. I found one last intact carrot, and was surprised to find that it still tasted great after months of freezing weather. I spotted a few new buds on my peppermint plant, and enjoyed the aroma as I did a little early pruning. It looks as though my peppermint intends to take over the garden bed as soon as possible this year.

I finally pulled up last years weeds and spaded the already-soft soil. Visions of seed packets danced in my head as I realized that I could easily begin planting lettuce, spinach, and more carrots as soon as I could make it to a gardening supply store and back. For now, I just feel refreshed to be getting my hands dirty again.

Spring seems to be coming along quite nicely I think.

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Signs of Life

We’re in those last few weeks when Spring feels like it is never going to show its face. All I want is green trees, warmth, seedlings pushing up through the soil, flowers everywhere, unlimited sunshine….is that too much to ask?

In my desperation I went out looking for some signs of impending spring growth, and I wasn’t disappointed. I just had to look beneath all the brown.







Spring is here. 🙂

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It’s been several months since I’ve posted more than a few words or phrases to accompany my photographs. It’s hard to find words to say when you feel like you don’t have any left in you.

Spring is here, and I couldn’t be more relieved to see it. Before this past winter I never gave any serious thought as to whether or not I might have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I mean, winter sucks and all, but it’s not unbearable, right? Well, not for everyone. For some people, winter is unbearable. And this winter, I was one of them.

For me, it is the shortening of the days that sends me into a gentle downward slope. In September, even when the days are still fairly long, I notice the way the light begins to change. By 4pm the sun begins its threatening descent, even though it prolongs the process for another three hours or so. I begin to feel occasional urges to crawl into bed as soon as I get home from work. The transformation within myself is so gradual that I don’t even notice that I’m slipping into a darker place. By the time Christmas rolls around, it’s a chore to stay out of bed, and I’m too far gone to think that spring will be able to bring me back.

The thing about depression is this: when you’re depressed, you feel like you’ve been depressed forever, and nothing will ever cure it. It doesn’t matter how many times the cycles shift and come around a million times over; depression is like the metaphorical bell jar that covers up and distorts your entire past, present, and future. And how does one go about escaping the vacuum it creates?

Fortunately for me and others affected by SAD, spring does bring relief. As days grow longer I find myself coming home from work and thinking, yeah, I’m tired, but I think I’ll save that nap til later. Next thing I know it’s an appropriate time to go to bed, and I don’t have to feel guilty for indulging my tired mind. With spring comes a greater intensity of light and color, and more opportunities to get outside and warm the skin. With spring comes growth, and opportunities for distraction from mental trouble.

Even so, it can be hard to want to come back from a dark place when the world outside is getting brighter. I see and enjoy the signs of spring and new life appearing all around me, but I am still not yet quite myself. It takes an effort to regain interest in former pursuits. It’s easy to think that I have nothing more to say, simply because I have been silent for so many months. It’s easy to stay inside because my body has grown accustomed to the comfort of my own home. It’s easy to stop sharing when you have felt for months that the people who care are few and far between.

Spring has arrived, and has done her fair share. For me and for all who suffer from winter depression, it is up to ourselves now to do our part and pull ourselves out of the melting snowpiles. There are walks to be had, and sunshine to be soaked up in copious quantities. There are flowers to be planted and books to be read outdoors under trees. There is much to be done and enjoyed in life, and preparations to be made to make the next winter more bearable. Spring is here.

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