Cattail bursting open

Cattail bursting open

Because a reader wondered, I’ll tell you what day it is.  Out of 365 days I shall spend time outside, it’s Day 52.  It’s strange how easy it is to go outdoors now.  A friend said recently that it takes 40 days to form a habit, and although maybe she psychologically bamboozled me, this seemed about right.

Forty days into this spend-every-day-outside commitment and it began to get easy.  You just opened the door and went outside.  No resistance.  No second-guessing.  No yawning on the couch.  Just open the door and see what’s out there.

To be honest, maybe it’s easier because of the warm weather.  If the thermometer gasped “twenty below” maybe I’d still be whining.  But the thermometer is singing “fifty above” and all is well in the universe.  (except with my ice fishing husband, but that’s another story….)

Fifty above!  Did you hear me?  Fifty spectacular degrees above zero!  Do you know what this melt did to the driveway and secondary roads this morning?  Turned them into skating rinks.  You could hardly navigate without slipping, sliding and falling.  Lucky fellows with those ice-clampers you put on boots headed off to work without a hitch.  Those in shoes or boots danced atop the ice, attempting to balance.

We backed our cars tentatively, slowly, out the long driveway this morning.  Craned the neck almost backwards and attempted to keep the vehicle in the middle.  Not too close to the ravines or frog pond.  Once on the main roads, driving proceeded easily and ice-free.

I was afraid to walk up the road in the afternoon, but at 50 degrees the ice and snow slushed underfoot.  No problem.  Just watch those icy patches.  Rivers of muddy ice careened down the side of the road.  The wind whipped the tops of the trees.  Without wind, we might have considered shorts.  With wind, we zipped up our jackets and kept our hats on.

I am admiring dried plants and seed pods lately.  Above, look at the energy as the cattail releases its inner fluff.  Below, peer at that thistle.  Remember how sharp its violet prickers sting in mid-summer?  Doesn’t it look innocent?

Soft underbelly of thistle

Soft underbelly of thistle

Another amazing fact we sometimes forget.  We look around this white wintered world and do not imagine that there’s often still a lush green plant jungle beneath the drifts.  When melting unexpectedly reveals a mini-green world still existing steadfastly even under three or four feet of snow, we’re astounded.  To think that this green world remains vibrant and alive and we’re not aware of it!

Miniature world of vibrant green

Miniature world of vibrant green

Hope everyone’s enjoying the thaw.  It’s back to the 20’s by the weekend.  Don’t pack away your winter coats yet.  It’s many months until spring settles in and nudges those thistles and cattails to growing….

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