Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spring is Here... Not

The sunsets this past week have seemed particularly colorful. I've wondered if it didn't have something to do with   the recent solar flare. Last Wednesday's sunset contained exceptionally intense oranges and yellows. We were driving home from Kansas City at the time, thus driving right into the sunset. I wished that I had my camera. However, I did capture the above photo of Friday's sunset, just as the sun disappeared behind the hills.

Winter sunsets always seem more colorful than summer sunsets. Most likely that is due to the angle at which the light falls upon the earth. These colorful sunsets might just be reminders that it is still winter, although yesterday's high was in the mid-60s (Fahrenheit). While these warm temperatures mean it doesn't feel like winter it doesn't really FEEL like spring yet. But we're getting close.

Groundhog Day is coming soon, alternately known as Imbolc, Oimealg or Bride's Day in early Celtic days and Candlemas in more recent times. In some more moderate climates, this once marked the first plowing of the fields. Here in Kansas, the fields are typically still frozen (though not this year) at this time, although we might have a brief thaw with spring-like weather that makes our green thumbs itch to be planting. Or the ground might be covered with snow and ice.

I might not be plowing on Groundhog Day, but I could be out digging more blackberries and I already have new things sprouting. I planted cabbages and whatnot on Thursday last week, and they are already stretching toward the light.

The amaryllis also is getting ready to unfold its first blossoms of the year. While most people buy these lily relatives as temporary house plants, I have kept mine for quite a few years. They spend the summer outdoors on the north side of the house, and come in for the winter when the nights start freezing on a regular basis. They don't need regular repotting, as they bloom best when in tight quarters.

Today I start onions and leeks. Next week, peppers and eggplants. Why doesn't it feel like spring?

Happy Groundhog Day.


Meggie said...

I'm ready to start my seeds too! I have never tried celery. Is it easy to grow?

Sandra M. Siebert said...

Celery needs to grow in cooler weather, but won't survive freezing temps. It needs to be watered frequently... Otherwise, it is fairly easy to grow. I didn't even have any pest problems last year. However, the type you grow in the home garden will be more suitable for cooking, as its flavor is too strong for fresh eating.