Winter wonders

It’s been a winter to remember, that’s for sure. As a transplant to Indiana from Colorado, having snowy winters is not new to me. However, this has been by far the snowiest winter we’ve had in our nine years in the Midwest. Here's a recap of our winter thus far at the Weidenbenner home:

To clarify, I love snow, whether it’s falling, drifting, being formed into cool snow sculptures and yard art, or adorning various trees, houses, and other outside structures. I am not in favor of, nor have I prayed for, freezing temperatures, ice, traffic accidents/rollovers or power outages. I think you can and should have one without the other, in Diane’s perfect, snowy white world. Unfortunately it hasn’t happened like that this winter.

In Indiana, winters without snow can be gray, cold and dismal. With snow, the world is transformed into a beautiful, sparkling white panorama. As it snows, it’s exciting for me, and our dog Hershey, to go outside and enjoy the large, fluffy, frosty flakes falling from the sky. He loves to do face plants in the snow, getting as much snow stuck to his whiskers and fur as possible. He also loves to eat snow. He also looks at areas of undisturbed snow, watching for any sign of movement underneath so he can pounce. If there is no movement, he imagines it and pounces anyway.

If Hershey could talk, I imagined he would have asked, “Where is all this coming from?” You can’t see an opening in the sky where it’s being shaken to the ground, like grated parmesan cheese. I think he would also ask me where the grass went – we haven’t seen it for about six weeks. Perhaps he thinks that like an area rug, the grass is rolled up and stored until spring.

We swapped out our hummingbird feeder on the deck for a suet feeder. It didn’t take long for the birds to discover it and, like waiting in line for a gas fill-up, they shared in its bounty. At night, a raccoon couple visits us as well as a squirrel who hangs upside down to take his fill. Hershey is not in favor of these animals eating from the bird feeder and discourages it with loud barks and scratching at the kitchen glass window. My husband, Joe, suggested that I give some recently thawed chicken in the fridge to the wildlife so I flung it up and over the deck so the raccoons could have a satisfying meal. It must have worked because we haven’t seen them at the suet feeder lately.

This is a good time to think about what bulbs and new plants we’d like to purchase for our garden. I saw candy cane tulips that made me smile. Peonies and hydrangea are always welcome. I have a few seed packets and a seed starter kit so the next step would be to get some small plants started, in time to put out in the yard for spring. Lilly of the Valley is also a fragrant favorite. A friend of mine recommended the Michigan Bulb Company. They have good prices and they guarantee the health of their plants after delivery. Do you like snow? If so, what do you like to do in the winter, to enjoy or celebrate snow times? What new things are you planning for your garden?

www.dianeweidenbenner.com

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