a cold snap ..


have you ever wondered where these sayings come from .. for instance .. “a cold snap” .. what is that .. ? .. what exactly is a “snap” in terms of weather .. ? .. boggles my mind to attempt to follow such a seemingly inane thought path .. and yet .. someone must have given it some thought at some point in time .. otherwise, why would so many of us know the term .. ( .. i’m not the only one .. am i .. ?) .. someone .. sometime .. must have somehow put meaning to those three little words .. did it have something to do with a drastic temperature change .. ? .. was it that when one observed a garden .. or a forest .. that they saw the fragility of leaves .. as if touching them would make then “snap” .. shatter into thousands of pieces .. ? .. or was it that when one moved from indoors to outdoors they “snapped” to attention at the difference in temperature .. like anything .. it’s pretty much conjecture .. it’s not as though we could ever know for sure ..


at any rate .. our temperatures did drop somewhat .. one day they were above zero .. moderate for this time of year .. great days for working outside .. blue skies .. sunshine .. crisp .. cold .. the kind of day you can dress for .. put on lots of layers .. grab a wheelbarrow and pitchfork and head down to the seashore to gather seaweed .. or move chips to pathways .. or grab a rake and a trug and a knee pad and head to the garden .. clean a bed or two .. get them ready for seaweed .. great outside gardening days .. well, for this part of the planet at least ..

then it snowed .. not much really .. just enough to lay a skiff of white across the earth and garden .. afterwards temperatures dropped into the minus numbers .. for us on this part of the planet .. a drop into the minuses is cold .. the kind of cold that brings out my hibernation instincts .. i think it has something to do with the moisture in the air .. regardless the cold provides me with more indoor days .. i do, however, have to go outside at least once a day .. for a walkabout .. can’t help myself ..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAas i walkabout the garden .. head down .. peering at plants .. i’m reminded that my garden doesn’t stop growing because there have been changes in weather .. oh, growth may be at a standstill when temperatures dip .. (seems we all have a hibernation mode .. ) .. but beneath the stillness life carries on .. i’ve been witness to it .. living in this relatively temperate climate i’m able to keep a close eye on how life is moving along here .. despite the season ..

i’m out a few times in a day to walkabout my garden .. to watch it grow .. i spend my time peering .. ever so closely .. at the new buds on deciduous shrubs .. lilac and hydrangea .. at flower buds forming .. rhododendron and vibirnum .. at flowers blooming .. helleborus and winter jasmine .. at life moving through everything .. hmmm .. pretty deep thoughts ..



this is a helleborus niger that began blooming in the middle of november .. as you can see from the top photo she’s a sweet little beauty .. the photo on the left is of the plant a couple of weeks ago .. to the right is the same plant now .. bent over .. pulled in .. working with the cold ..

my friend, phil, reassured me .. the first time i ever noticed plant doing this .. that it was natural for plants to take all their external energy .. from leaf .. flower .. stem .. back to their core .. he said they’d hold it there until temperatures changed ..

i believe he was right .. makes sense to me .. a plant’s way of hibernating ..

the rhododendrons are following suit .. here’s a picture of one that grows at the side of the house .. it’s all pulled in close .. other than that lovely big red bud ..


today the temperatures warmed up a few degrees .. you can see how he’s put some of that reserved energy back into his leaves ..


i’m gratefull to live where i do .. to have had the mentorship of my dear friend phil .. to know that when i see plants drooping .. behaving as if their life force has left due to a “cold snap” .. that they are in fact alive .. growing ..


they’re just hibernating for the time being ..







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