186233816-550?v=1

Marching Through Winter

Pressing pause for a moment with nature

Can we really be only two months away from the leafy awakening of May?  Impossible.

Many of us can still see the snowdrifts of January, frozen into long waves on the battered shores of the fields and pastures.   New snow has covered them.  Now they curve toward barns, houses, and cars, resembling plaster casts, locking us in.  More snow comes, its pretty white flakes sifting over the old dingy stuff.  Layers collect, and soon the whole world is a glacial geology of snow.

By late February, winter can start to feel downright permanent.  Even Willa Cather, who so often wrote about nature in uplifting ways, had this to say about a rural winter: “winter lies too long in country towns; it hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.”    

But there are signs of hope.  The seed catalogs are showing up in the mail.  It’s not too soon to think about what went awry with last year’s garden, and how to effect an impressive course correction this year, perhaps even with less effort.  And how about some snappy Wellington boots, or the new rose-of-the-year, or that riding mower?  Dream on.  Diversions are essential to finding comfort on a February night.    

There are others who have more urgent diversions in the evening . . . they put on their Carhartts and go out with flashlights into the howling wind and stinging snow to put up windbreaks for calving cows or roll out a dry bale of hay for bedding.  Gloves come off as experienced hands check fuzzy ears and feet for signs of frostbite.

Then the rest of us can drive down the highway and smile at the impossible sight of a black angus calf tottering and blinking in the sun.  Long before the lavender half-shell of the pasque flower blooms on the brown tundra, the ranchers have scattered green nests of hay to show us the real first signs of spring.  Just as the days have lengthened and lightened our world, those scampering, crazy calves give us hope.

While the temperamental wind buffets the house at night, let us stoke the home fires and enjoy February for what it is—the beginning of the end of winter, but only the very beginning.  Time will fly.  Like the old saying goes, “Four dry logs have in them all the circumstances necessary for a conversation of several hours.”  Enjoy the white month for what it is; there is no need to hurry.

  • 186233816-300?v=1
  • 1886068705-300?v=1

Related Businesses

Powell Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Powell Gardens

Kingsville, MO

Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is set on 970 acres of lush, rolling hills. Known for its contemporary...

Museum at Prairiefire

Museums + Art Galleries

Museum at Prairiefire

Overland Park, KS

The Museum at Prairiefire provides ACCESS FOR ALL to understand and celebrate natural history and science. The Museum is open...

Nashville Zoo

Botanical Gardens

Nashville Zoo

Nashville, TN

Nashville Zoo is a progressive and dynamic zoological park serving Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky and hundreds of...

See More

Related Articles

See More