Saturday, February 07, 2009

It really has been a brutal winter this year!

We gardeners are obsessed with the weather and its trends. We love to talk about how our current weather deviates from the norm and what that means for our gardens.

I came upon this quote this morning from Kathleen Norris, an American poet -

"There seems to be so much more winter than we need this year."

I don't know what year she was talking about but I think the quote can be applied to this winter as well. At least here in Minnesota.

We had no January thaw this year. A January thaw is defined as having two consecutive days above 32 degrees. We did not reach above 32 degrees F until January 31 - and it was so welcome. Even if the temps did plummet back down until yesterday. I *think* and *hope* the bitter cold days are finally behind us. The last time we did not have a January thaw was 1982.

We had 33 consecutive days when the temperature did not rise about 32 degree F. That is the 11th longest stretch of below freezing weather since they have been keeping track. It was cold this year. Monthly mean temperatures for January were 4 to 8 degrees below normal - which doesn't seem like that much - until you get your heating bill............

I lost a good and faithful companion in all of this cold. When she no longer wanted to walk to the bus stop in the mornings I just chalked it up to being really cold - the same when she stopped wanting to go outside to go potty - and maybe the cold wasn't so pleasant on old bones - but in the end it was old age that took my beloved Cocker Spaniel Molly from me. She was 15 years old, totally deaf and had growths all over her and I hated to part with her. She was with me when I was single in AZ and she moved with me to MN. She accepted Dan when we married and loved Andy when he was born and became his playmate as he grew older. I will miss Molly laying behind the currant bushes in the summer heat. I like to think that she is lying behind some currant bushes somewhere else right now.

And now it is February with the promise of spring to look forward to. It is time to get your seed orders placed if you haven't already (or aren't saving seeds) and plan that garden. It is a time to look forward not back. For the first time in many years I have to worry about puppy proofing my garden. My raised bed has a fence around it to keep the rabbits out but I have many other areas that I have a feeling will be trampled by puppy feet. Yes, we have already replaced Molly. Actually we got Daisy in October so we had some overlap. She is a Bichon/Shitzu mix. She is full of energy and loves to play with Andy and yet also a great lap dog. Having her has eased the pain of missing Molly.

So, here's to February and looking forward. January's cold has lifted. Spring will be here soon.

1 comment:

Tam said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Molly. Happy puppy-proofing.

This is a hard winter, but I had much more trouble adapting in December than I did last month.

I'm not even going to think about Spring until a few weeks into March.