Saturday, January 12, 2019
First False Spring
January 7th and I’m sitting at Happy Hour in the Milkweed Mercantile nursing a root beer and making shadow puppets over the fireplace. Which little detail is most remarkable to you? To me, the most remarkable detail is that I’m making shadow puppets, because it is so sunny outside. I would love to learn how to make a shadow rabbit and think I got close a couple times but just not quite there. I have a profound respect for all you accomplished shadow puppeteers out there. As a group, I don’t think you here that enough, so, good job. I say, “Good job,” shadow puppeteers.
The thermometer is showing 57 degrees at 4pm so I’m going to say, rounding up maybe, it was 60 degrees here in garden zone 5 of North America today. I realize this is not unprecedented, but it sure feels good! In years past, I’d take my motorcycle out on days like today if I thought the salt and sand didn’t make things too risky. Instead of a motorcycle ride, my new little food coop ate our lunch outside at the picnic table.
We still don’t have a name for our food coop, but we had lunch outside today. Did I mention it was 60 degrees and we had lunch outside today? I’m giddy. I might have a touch of sunburn or heat rash or some such a thing. It was 60 degrees outside today. During our outside lunch, one friend was hula hooping and blowing milkweed seeds around. Another visitor from next door was sporting sunglasses and went for swim in their pond this morning without hacking thru the ice. There was no ice, because it was 60 degrees today.
Why does anyone hack thru ice to swim? I’m terrified I’m going to feel some kind of journalistic responsibility to go take a polar plunge and write about it for you dear reader. Please talk me out of it. Please. Now.
While sitting on the porch swing sunning myself in the 60 degree sunshine after lunch, I was invited to rendezvous at the trampoline to watch some trampolining. I am not a partaker in trampolining no matter what the temperature, but I was keen to watch. Alas, I missed it but I made my way down to our pond to see how a 60 degree January day looked down there. It looked good. It was warm. I moved a lawn chair out on the dock and just sat in the sun. It felt like 61 degrees in the direct sun on the dock. It was so bright I had to squint. Through the squinting I saw those floating amoebas moving about in my eyeballs no doubt invigorated by the 60 degree day. Rainbows adorned the squint as well. Rainbow amoebas on a 60 degree January day.
I didn’t even keep the fireplace going today at The Mercantile. Why?
IT WAS TOO WARM! IT WAS 60 DEGREES TODAY PEOPLE!
We had a snow back in early November which seems like a year ago.
I left the pond and strolled over to check on all the little lettuces in the greenhouse. They were loving life today! It was about 80 degrees in the greenhouse. My head started sweating almost immediately after going in. Nothing like a good January greenhouse sweat. Some of the little lettuces got a tad freezer burned awhile back but they are still tasty. And abundant. There are a couple 3 foot wide rows about 30 feet long with a lettuce carpet growing. The soil was double drenched as the seeds were planted back in October and that moisture will be expected to keep things growing all winter. There is a mix of red, green, oak, and arugula lettuces. I’ve cut a couple pounds worth so far that my food coop has enjoyed.
I did get out into the garden and cut down another 30 red mulberry saplings. This was in addition to the the 50 I had already cut. Red mulberry is an ambitious little tree. I checked out the fence around our garden. It needs some work. By “our garden” I mean our new food coop. Our unofficial working name has been “Podatoh” and then “Sweet Podatoh” and then since we are in SkyHouse we have referred to ourselves as SkyKitchen or SkyPeople. Put it all together we’re currently the Beloved Sky Kitchen Sweet Podatoh Kitchen Coop.
Almost forgot, we ordered some seeds after lunch today. Seed catalogs started showing up here at Dancing Rabbit about a week ago. Someone commented “the plant porn” is here. How indelicate. Indelicate or not, a few more catalogs showed up in quick succession and I’ve flipped through the pages dreaming of bumper crops of tomato, basil, kale, and the list goes on.
If it seems to you I’m a bit manic, I am. Nothing like the first false spring of January to get me all worked up. I know it won’t last. 6 inches of snow is forecast this weekend, but as I put my longjohns back on and wear my Elmer Fudd hat outside to feed the fire, I will have the seed of hope in my soul’s warm center promising that it will get warm again. Seeds will sprout, I’ll jump in the pond, and I’ll be proud of having a farmer’s tan again.
(And just so you know, it snowed a foot in the last 24 hours and I've totally forgotten about how awesome and warm it was just a few days ago)
Posted by Troy Matthews at 8:37 PM