Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The February Itch

The crocus are eager.
Last night I stood in the bedroom and listened to the geese call as they flew overhead. They have been on the move for more than a month, chasing warm weather and open water. They come calling to spring.
By February, northeast Kansas usually has said "goodbye" to single-digit temperatures.
Daffodils testing the air.
But recent years have been anything but usual, and this past year or more has taken us on a roller coaster ride usually (there is that word again, "usual," aka "typical," "normal") limited to early and mid-spring.

So, anyway, our "normal" January brings the coldest temps, with single digit lows (sometimes below zero single digit with occasional double digit belows) and February eases up a bit, but remains cold cloudy and icky.

This January, a couple of weeks of definitely early spring-like weather had me a bit worried about early emergence of plants and buds. Then February hit and looked more like January. We've seen several nights of single-digit lows and some days with highs only in the 20s. Lots of cloudy days, some sunny days. In general, February keeps winter hanging on and there is nothing different about my itch to get back out in the garden and start readying for spring.
Even the tulips are checking it out.

I've all but given up on the kale and such held in suspended animation beneath plastic-covered low tunnels. The last time I looked it all seemed alive, but hope fades, especially when a nasty infection in a salivary gland knocks me down for a few days.
Apparently, we've still got at least one more night in the single digits (that's Fahrenheit, in case you are wondering) before it's over. I had hoped to put pea seed in the ground shortly after the first of March, but I don't know for sure where the roller coaster is headed. According to the forecast, March will begin with cold, rain, snow and sleet.

However, in spite of the unusual February chill, the crocus have started to spring up right on time (above photo). One little snowdrop has a drooping bud, and I have even seen the tips of tulip leaves poking through the soil.

The call of the geese soothes the itchy nerves rubbed raw by winter, while the sleet pelts t he ground. Got to keep the faith in spring.

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