Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February Has Arrived

This morning we woke to a light dusting of snow. As is typical for this capricious month we have a forecast this week that includes nights in the teens and days in the sixties, Sunday they say may be 70 degrees!

January flew by and now winter begins to ease off. I struggle between my desires for winter to continue so that I can stay inside and cogitate, and for spring to come so I can get out and see the new world unfold. It's a tough thing. Sometimes I wish for a colder climate with a longer winter. I like to spend time reading and thinking, napping and making big pots of soup and beans, sleeping late. Here in Carolina the time for these activities is pretty short, December and January really, with a few wintry days in November and February, but by March, spring is really kickin' in.

The to do list is long as ever, things that didn't get done in the fall, like mulching, always more mulching, and cleaning and staining the decks. Now the spring chores start to crop up too, planting peas and prepping a bed for onions and the earliest spring veggies. Another seasonal cycle rolls around.

Check out my latest column in the News, winter bird watching. I slipped down to the coast last Friday with big bro to look for wintering seaside sparrows. They eluded us, but we did see striking black oyster catchers, marbled godwits, bufflehead ducks, hooded mergansers and a whole flock of loons. I copped two new life birds; purple and western sandpipers, so it was not a total wash in terms of birding olympics. And the day was gorgeous, my spirits entirely renewed by a short walk on a sunny beach, watching the clouds lining up overhead, the waves rolling in. I forget it's so close to go down there, only 2 hours to Wilmington, think I'll try to do it a little more often. The beach refreshes my soul.

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