Looking forward to warm temperatures

Published 9:00 am Sunday, January 25, 2015

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

As I am writing this column Jan. 15 we are having a January thaw. It is 32 degrees above zero and I, for one, am so glad to see warmer temperatures this week. The other morning it was minus 15 degrees and yesterday morning it was 19 degrees. What a change from the cold weather we have been having this January. Every time Roosevelt has to go outside to do his duty it take me about five minutes to put on all of the clothing to keep me warm as we head outside for a few minutes. He is hopping on three feet because even he is freezing cold.

Crocuses bloom in the early spring gardens, a harbinger of the spring that will follow. - Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Crocuses bloom in the early spring gardens, a harbinger of the spring that will follow. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

The bad thing about having a January thaw is that it gets me wanting warmer temperatures every day, and of course that is several months away. I, for one, will take this reprieve from the cold. Even going out to fill the bird feeders is a chore as I bundle up because I am usually out there for about a half hour filling seed in the feeders, water in the heated birdbaths and suet in the other feeders. We have not had a lot of different birds at the feeders this year and I am sure that is due to the lack of snow depth. Some years we have lots of birds that usually don’t visit my feeders. Of course we have lots of squirrels and they are just getting to realize that Roosevelt, our puppy, will chase after them. The rabbits surprisingly haven’t even been the least bit scared of Roosevelt and they know he is on a leash and can’t get to them so they sit just out of his reach.

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With the cold temperatures we have had some beautiful clear nights filled with so many stars, but it has been too cold to venture out to view them. Perhaps tonight if the skies are clear with the warmer temperatures I can go outside and enjoy the stars for a little while. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” Isn’t that the truth, though? As a child I would watch the sun as it came up and if the sky was red I would repeat the old saying, “Red sky in the morning sailors heed warning, red sky at night sailors delight.” I have no idea who should be credited with this saying but I still say it when I see a red sky.

Now that January is almost over we have about 53 days until the arrival of spring, and we know that we have lots of winter left before it arrives. I think all of us who live in the cold Midwestern areas look forward to a January thaw to give us a little reprieve from the cold weather. Many people take vacations this time of the year while others who are snowbirds spend the winter in areas with warmer weather. Those of us who stay for the cold winters have to be hardy souls because the snow and cold, not to mention those gray days, can be awfully hard on a person. Just looking through my garden photographs from last year and the seed catalogs help maintain my sanity. What must life have been like for the early settlers of this part of the country when winter arrived and kept them indoors for such a long period of time with only candles and lanterns for light?

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

Have you ordered your seeds or plants for spring yet? This year I have stuck to my plan not to order anything because of some of the changes I will be making in the gardens. The only thing that I have placed an order on was three small hosta that I already know where they will be planted. My reserve of annual seeds is still good so even those didn’t get ordered this year. Let’s hope that we have an early spring and that it is a beautiful one for a change, as I am tired of the springs we have had the past couple of years.

“The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.” — Frederick L. Knowles


Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at carolhegellang@gmail.com.