Monday, March 24, 2008

If you don't like the weather --

Wait a Minute! That's the motto for Wisconsin (probably other places too, but for SURE here). This picture, Ladies and Gentlemen, was the First Day of Spring here in Madison. Yes indeedy. Now, when the Scandinavian immigrants first settled and farmed these lands hereabout, they brought with them, among the hardanger fiddle and lefse and rosemaling, the Old Gods. Oh - I don't mean there are still ancient rites being performed in Stoughton. (Say -- if there are , can I get an invitation?) Nevermind.
What I speak of is the Frost Giants, those denizens of the icy north who cause the frigid winds, whirling snow, icicles. For the last few years, they've been pretty feeble. We've had a lot of thaws, a lot of "wintry mix", that combination of rain and sleet and snow which make roads hazardous and not even a North Face down jacket can keep you warm. I think it might have to do with the teevee. Once Frost Giants start watching, you know, Spongebob, it's hard to get them outdoors to work.

But this year? Well, maybe the Frost Giant Bubbeh came over. This has been the first truly fine old-fashioned winter in YEARS, and while it hasn't been a very popular viewpoint, I have LOVED this winter! I drive like a little old lady, wear more to bed than most people wear to go to the store and consume HUGE quantities of hot tea. But I love it, and being curled up on the couch under a quilt with a cuppa at my elbow and some knitting or a good book is much enhanced by a heavy fall of sparkling flakes outside the window.

ENOUGH! As I look outside today, there are only dirty vestiges of lumpy snow piles. And yes, even *I* am ready for something else. Here are some of the other things I'm ready for:

These are apple blossoms, maybe crabapple, at our Arboretum. This is from last year; in about three weeks I expect this little tree will look like this again. There are over 130 varieties of lilac bush in that garden as well and everyone in town takes an evening to stroll through, growing drunk on the heady fragrance of all those lilacs. NOTE: one cannot picnic in these gardens; no dogs are allowed in the Arboretum at all (it's an ecology laboratory for the UW). Therefore, they are pristine, and a more romantic place to stroll cannot be found on this continent. (It's perfectly all right to lie in the grass or sit on one of the benches and read or write or doze.)

OK, so they're not beautiful (yet). This is my beloved Hen-and-Chicks. They're always the first things up, nestled right next to my front stoop. Better yet, they came from the yard of my mother-in-law (of blessed memory) and they've been there a long time. They don't look so great just yet; they've been up, snowed on, frozen, thawed, melted, snowed on again, dripped on from ice melting on the eaves, snowed on....and yet, they prevail. Truth to tell, I love them.

If nothing else, they really are proof that, no matter the number of attempts by the Frost Giants to hold sway, their reign is virtually over. There isn't much threat in a Frost Giant who is 3" tall, whose icy breath can't even sway a dried brown stalk of grass from last summer, and whose feet are wet. They're done. Fini. Buh-bye.

I've been busy (sometimes annoyingly so, though it's all my own doing) but watch this space for an update. Just see if I don't!


Anonymous said...

I sat on my front stoop and knitted for an hour today. Then it clouded up and I was hungry and I realized I had miscounted back a couple rows and the dogs were getting bored so we all came inside. But it was glorious to be able to be outside again.

MollyBeees said...

I love your hens and chicks!All of my flowers are out front on the north side of the house where there is still 6" of snow! The next couple of days' rain will take care of that though! Next stop...lilac blossoms!

dale-harriet said...

Molly Bee - remember the invitation (open to all, btw): an early-evening stroll through the Lilacs! My Lucy (the wee front-yard lilac) has what I can only describe modestly as "burgeoning buds" -- today's rain is a good start, I'm thinkin'.

Anonymous said...

I too can't wait for lilacs. I went too many years living in FL and didn't have any, then moved up here in the summer and didn't even realize that I had like 5 bushes on the side of the house that were lilacs. Was that ever a nice surprise that next spring. But, then last year, we had a HUGE snowfall right after everything budded, and it killed off all the blossoms, lilacs, lilies, wisteria, tulips, I think only the crocuses still bloomed. Sucked big time. And, I just went and checked, my live-forevers are starting to come up too!