One of the nice things about being finished with school is that I’ve had more time to browse through my social media feeds and catch up on all the events and jokes and pictures I’ve missed. A common thread amongst recent posts is the yearning for spring; no more wrangling kiddos into snowsuits, no more shovelling snow and scraping ice off car windows, more daylight hours, warmth, sun, gardens, bikes, tennis, golf, and (for me) paddling… I get it, but…
Thanks mostly to all my farmer friends who have ever so patiently(?) educated me, I have a grander appreciation for winter.
We really ought to respect and honour winter; its apparent dormancy hides great productivity. Both the snow and the cold temperatures are important to our planet, most especially to food production (both for us and for wildlife).
In addition to insulating the earth (moderating it’s temperature and temperature loss) snow also protects the soil and the organisms it hosts from harm caused by fluctuating temperatures above the snow’s surface. Come spring, the melting snow helps raise the water table which is of vital importance to well users, flora and farmers alike. The runoff replenishes the water levels of our lakes, rivers and streams upon which so many creatures (ourselves included) depend.
Even (surprisingly to me) frigid winter temperatures are essential, notably to fruit trees and bushes. Every species, in order to generate an abundant amount blossoms that all open fully (essential to pollination and fruit set) requires quite a specific amount of cold weather (below 1℃). For example, most apple trees found in Northumberland’s apple belt require a minimum of 1000 continuous hours (42+ days) of sub-zero temperatures without which fruit yield will be compromised.
Instead of wishing it away, honour our winter folks, it is providing for us in countless ways!
Although winter weather constantly tempts me to cosy-up in the warmth of my home – snug by the fire with a hot cuppa – I do love spending time outdoors in the fresh air, enjoying the abundance of snow, ice, and yes, even the sharp winds.
Last Friday was a gloriously beautiful winter day. Cam had business at the golf club and I tagged along for the ride. Whilst he was occupied inside, I took myself off for a walk on the snow-covered links. Meggling through the deep snow, making the first tracks on the pristine snow fields made me feel happy, special even. Daft? Yup I know, but still…
Friday was FRIGID (not complaining, now that I know), the icy wind raspy and wuthering all around me – seemingly from every direction at once – but I, luckily, was toasty-warm in my Eddie Bauer down mufflements. There were views of snow-capped evergreen branches, icicles dangling jewel-like from the clubhouse, frozen ponds concealing a community of dormant snappers and – borne on the wind – the clean, refreshing scent of pine needles. It was entirely beautiful.
My walk was all too short but in those delightful moments, my world was enveloped in a magical, calm and restorative quietude.
‘Til next time, y’all…
(For Carolyn with much love.)
All photos taken at Baxter Creek Golf Club, Fraserville, ON.