Given our warm weather last week, I foolishly expected to sense some sign of spring in the air. This foolishness on my part will happen at least 6 more times before nature finally decides to change the channel. The weather report duly noted that we had already had our average quota of snow for a winter-I was feeling home free.
What began as a few big flakes escalated into a driving rain of flakes in a matter of minutes. I am looking out the window of my office this past Sunday afternoon-incredulous would accurately describe my reaction. Who told me this was on the way? I moved on to avoiding paying any mind to what was in the air-I had a bigger mission. My beloved camera had disappeared. How so? Every winter, I close the shop except by chance or appointment, between January 15 and March 1. How else could I clean, repaint, rework, and refresh? That camera-no doubt I had laid it down somewhere in all the confusion-but where, exactly?
On my fifth tour of the building, I find my camera. I rush outside; it is snowing heavily, crazily-fast and furious. I take lots pictures. I have friends and colleagues who are professional photographers. They would not dream of taking their camera out in the rain, or the snow. I have a different take. My camera is a tool whose images help me see, design, record. More importantly, I am not a skier, bobsledder or figure skater. Taking these pictures-winter recreation. So far, so good.
Strong winds blew over the outermost concrete pots in front of the shop-this is a first. These pots weigh 600 pounds when they are filled with dirt. Not long after that gust, heavy snow began to bury them. No matter how patiently and efficiently I design, nature holds and is not shy about playing her trump cards. Any exposure to nature-a sobering experience. Anything that blowqs over in a storm stays put, until the wind moves on to some other city.
Frozen water in the air-a natural experience should you garden in the snow belt. Any landscape needs to have room for that big natural gesture that defines their zone. Gardeners in northern climates know what I mean. Early freezing. January thaws. Chilly Mays-snow flurries early in June. Unexpected winds. You gardeners in Oregon, California and Georgia-you have your issues-different than mine.
The entire landscape at the shop has gone to white, taupe, and black. The red glass holiday balls are way past that holiday season, but they comfort me in February. That color is a relief. It was also interesting to find out that ornament meant for a tree indoors is perfectly happy outdoors in extremely cold and wintry weather. Not that I needed to see any more snow, but heavy snow in the air is not only beautiful, it is entertaining.
Red tulips dominate my spring neighborhood landscapes. I am not there yet-spring is a long ways off. But this dash of red keeps a certain fire burning. I was relieved that above freezing temperatures had removed the snow load from the boxwood. Just in time for more snow.
That relief was short lived. After close to an hour outside, I realized I had locked myself out of the shop. I walked many blocks to a friend with a phone; Buck picked me up, and took me back to the shop. The corgis were glad to be rescued-but not nearly as glad as I. Sorry to say-my winter persists.