Roosevelt enjoys the fresh snowfall

Published 10:00 am Sunday, January 10, 2016

Roosevelt enjoys the freshly fallen snow and runs through the gardens scooping snow with his face. - Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Roosevelt enjoys the freshly fallen snow and runs through the gardens scooping snow with his face. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

Our first official winter storm came the last week of December and was named Goliath. The storm was as imposing as Goliath was in Bible stories. It spawned deadly tornadoes in the south while flooding in the mid-section of our country. In the northern states it was heavy snow that fell.

On the morning of the snow storm, I went out early and filled all of the feeders with sunflowers and peanuts, so the birds would have plenty of food to fuel them throughout the storm, and then added more water to the heated birdbaths and set out food for the feral cats. Roosevelt followed me around in anticipation of something big happening that day. Since animals are always very keenly-tuned in to the barometric pressure, he knew something was impending.

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

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As the snow started falling about noon, I decided I would take Roosevelt out so he could do his duty before the snow became heavy and his coat would become very wet. He darted around chasing all of the squirrels that were raiding the feeders, and when the snow started falling heavier I brought him inside. Later in the afternoon he again went outside and by this time the snow was starting to really accumulate on the ground. He was loving it. He didn’t want to come in when called. I had to use the greenie trick with him to get him in the house. You mention the “G” word and he is immediately at your side waiting to have his treat.

We did the outdoors trip one more time before it got dark and then the phone rang. It was our granddaughter asking if they could bring Sage, their goldendoodle puppy, over to play in the snow with Roosevelt. Since they don’t have a fenced yard, he can only go outdoors on a leash.  As a young puppy, staying inside all day when it was snowing put him in a frisky mood and he needed to wear some of the energy off.

Both boys tore around the gardens having an absolute great time, diving their heads into the snow drifts and plowing the snow. This went on for about a half hour and I could see they were getting very wet and full of snow balls, so it was time to bring them in and dry them off. Roosevelt being the older of the puppies, knows the routine of standing on the grooming table while we towel him off, use the blow dryer to get him dry and brush all the tangles out of his coat before they mat. Sage, on the other hand, is not accustomed to the grooming table or the fact that he is supposed to stand still while he is on it.

With the ground starting to freeze and covered in snow I don’t worry about the boys chasing through the gardens. When spring comes and it is wet and muddy, they will not be allowed to chase or I won’t have any gardens left. Roosevelt knows the command “No,” when he starts to enter the gardens, but Sage is only 5 months old and that is not a word he has learned yet.  Heaven only knows what they will do when the snow melts, as they chase each other around the oval garden digging trenches as they run.

While the snow was falling it was a good time for me to start perusing the stack of seed catalogs that have been arriving daily, and already my want list is starting to fill up. One of the most exciting new seeds for me is a zinderella zinnia available in both peach and lilac. The 2 1/2 inch scabosia-shaped blossoms grow to about 25 to 30 inches tall and bloom July to September. The description mentioned that it is adored by both bees and butterflies —magic words for me. It will definitely be on the list.

Another interesting seed is dara ammi with lacey umbels atop strong, sturdy stems available in a range of purple, pink and white colors. I don’t seem to have very good luck with germination for any of the ammi flowers, so I will order several packets to insure that I get some germination.

It’s hard to believe that winter has only been here a few weeks, and already I am thinking about planting gardens. In another two months I will be on the countdown to spring. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the snow.

“Outside snow solidified itself into graceful forms. The peace of winter stars seemed permanent.” — Toni Morrison


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