This year’s weather better than last

Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 8, 2015

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

As I am writing this article in the last week of January, we have been enjoying morning temperatures in the mid- to high 20s and our afternoon highs have been in the mid-40s — which has been so nice for all of us, not having to bundle up just to go outside and get into our cars. But as we have learned over the years, Mother Nature is always in charge of the weather and our forecast for the first couple of days in February has the morning lows below zero again. Well, the warmth was nice while it lasted.

Mother Nature wreaked havoc on the area with a May snowstorm in 2013 with over a foot of heavy, wet snow and then two weeks later temperatures were above 100 degrees. - Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Mother Nature wreaked havoc on the area with a May snowstorm in 2013 with over a foot of heavy, wet snow and then two weeks later temperatures were above 100 degrees. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

When the month of February comes around I always get so antsy about warmer weather and green grass appearing rather than snowdrifts. In my backyard I actually can see green grass in spots and my mind starts wandering to warmer temperatures and flowers emerging from the dirt. About that time it seems like we get hit with a snowstorm and then I am back in the winter rut again.

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We have not had a lot of snow this winter but it started so early so it seems like we have been stuck in winter forever. Those darn cold temperatures nearly froze all of us hardy Minnesotans to death. When we are kids we love snow and don’t seem to mind the cold temperatures, but as we get older and have to drive on snow-covered roads or worry about whether our cars will start we see winter in a different perspective.

The good thing about the arrival of February is that we know it won’t be long until spring arrives in March. There isn’t much we can do but complain about the weather and it seems to be the prime subject in this part of the country most of the time. It won’t be long and we will be complaining about the heat, humidity and the mosquitoes so it looks like we won’t run out of topics for conversation any time soon.

When spring arrives I just sit on a bench in the gardens and breathe in the aroma of the gardens. I am always on the prowl to see what is peeking through the ground and sometimes I even push the dirt back to see if there is something below ground starting to grow. The birds will be singing and all seems to be right in the world and people smile more again.

The weather people predict storms about a week in advance and they are sometimes right on the money, but as we have all seen — if the storm track moves just a little this way or that it can make a big difference on the weather in each area. The weather track this year seems to be hitting the East Coast with one storm after another and sparing the upper Midwest. Of course I am not complaining, because heavy snow that needs to be shoveled off the sidewalks and driveway is a lot of work. We do need snow cover to protect the perennials and I am always happy when it snows before the cold weather arrives so that my plants hopefully stand a better chance of survival.

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

Regardless of how ready you and I are, spring will arrive when Mother Nature deems it time. The more impatient I get waiting does nothing but make my blood pressure rise so I might just as well sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of winter. Last year was a tough winter with so much snow and cold weather, so my philosophy was that we deserved a better winter this year. In reality, other than the cold temperatures we had earlier this month, it really has not been a harsh winter. So I’ll just keep paging through my seed catalogs or viewing the garden pictures on my computer of last season and know that spring will eventually arrive here in Minnesota, just not on my schedule.

“Mother Nature is never tiring as she works through sun and rain. Never does she err in judgment; no mistakes she ever makes, as she plans each season’s schedule; never any glory takes.” — Gertrude Tooley Buckingham


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