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  • Tammie Marsh

Nature's Crazy, Cozy Quilt

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

I LOVE snow!

There's something magical about it for me. Last week's gorgeous display was such a wonderful treat to experience!

Friends and family members will contact me when snowy weather is anticipated and ask if I'm excited, giggling at my expense because they know my response. I've been known to "do the snow dance" years after my children were too old to believe in such things -- and I encouraged them for a long time to follow the superstitions of flushing ice cubes down the toilet and sleeping with a spoon under their pillows so snow would come. Yep. I love snow.

Our home has three large windows which overlook the backyard area where I've been working to install new gardens. From the windows, I can watch the numerous bird species which visit our feeders (and the patio bricks because I can't resist "spilling" some seed for the chipmunks, squirrels and birds who prefer to feed from the ground). As the snowflakes fell to accumulate in inches per hour last week, I reveled in the beauty of the large flakes which formed a crisp white blanket over everything -- nature's equalizer. The hills and bumps left by my digging soon blended with the bordering grass, which looked the same as the patio and the raised bed and the chipmunk tunnels. Most of the plants were covered, with a trellis here and a tree there, standing tall with a dusting of snow.

While I watched from indoors and took some short walks outside, I thought about my plants. What were those green sprouts from the daffodils doing now that they were covered by this snow? Were the broad leaves of the coral bells and brunnera standing strong, holding up the snow like umbrellas to provide pockets of air as shelter for some insect? The rosemary was flocked with snow, but its branches were above ground. Was the stem getting too cold to survive? And my prized, babied crepe myrtles, whose branches looked so thin and fragile -- was this going to be the end of them?

My experience with more established plants in my gardens gave me hope. The dried hydrangea blossoms stood solidly, topped with snow as if they were cupcakes coated with icing. The 25-year-old dogwood tree near our front door wore her snow-accessories with the same beauty and grace she has every year, and my reliable, lovable Shasta daisies still showed green leaves as soon as the snow fell away.

Plants are survivors. That snow was gorgeous, and necessary. Our gardens needed a hard frost to stop the early emergence of bulb plants and tree buds. Our trees and perennials need to go dormant. I'm no expert, but I think maybe the little critters like chipmunks, squirrels, finches, chickadees and even moles and mice need to have a little respite, too. Maybe they all took advantage of nature's beautiful, crazy, snow quilt. I hope so!

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