As the temperature flirts with 50 degrees today and hit well below that yesterday, I look around and see the signs of yet another uneven winter upon us. And it’s all within our yard!
The first sign, of course, is the absence of several downed limbs from our yard. Several months of winds and rain had left a couple hours’ labor waiting in the yard and, unfortunately, the nice days thus far have fallen during the week or on busy weekends. So, last week, as the thermometer hit 50 and nearly 60 on Sunday, the sun found me with chainsaw in hand and a wheelbarrow at my side cutting and hauling several limbs and logs to more suitable locations.
As I made the trip from the work sites to the limb/log piles, I noticed a couple things. The first was the relatively frustrating little things Mother Nature can do in uneven weather which can wreak havoc for the outdoor photographer in February.
As many of you know (and many of you will come to find out) we take several outdoor shots on the grounds of Abanathy Photography LLC. This, of course, means I have to break out the lawnmower every now and again and make sure all looks neat and tidy for clients’s sessions. This is no problem. I love to mow. It is oddly relaxing for the most part, despite the nearly three hours it takes for me to completely trim the grounds. However, as I left it last year, the grass was at just the right height to catch my attention, but not high enough to warrant a full out mow. Ultimately, I left it and put it out of my mind, as the winter months began to take hold.
But then, something happened. The weather decided to throw us some warm days here and there. Just enough to spark some minor growth. Dandelions, clovers, and a few more regulars began to come back. And, of course, with weather being just right, sometimes you get weeds growing from seeds, which have been dormant for some time. So now I have relatively unusual things making an appearance as well. Some of this patchy, mid-winter greenery is topping out just above my shoes!
Of course, you say: “Patrick, why not get out the lawn mower and go to town?” To this, I say: “It is not as easy as all that.” First, the lawnmower is put up for the winter. Its battery is removed, tires have flattened and it is generally too cold to try and spark that nearly 30-year-old thing to life for such a quick job. This is to say nothing of the awkwardness of mowing my grass in mid-February. Second, even if I wanted to, the ground is too soft. While we have had the warmer weather, we have also had the rain and snow. Therefore, even if the weather was to hit a record 90 degrees in February, the ground is too squishy to even attempt it.
This brings me to the next thing I noticed while hauling limbs and logs: The ground is squishy! While the signs of uneven weather may be upon us, another sign (our business sign) is close at hand. And, I look forward to the uneven warmer weather coupling with the squishy soil, for a day or so, in order to allow for an easier digging effort for the post holes.
Last summer, I dug one hole for one fence post and, as it had not rained for about three months at that time, let me tell you I felt that two-foot feat for a couple of days afterward. This time, I am looking forward to the task being a lot easier.
So, as the title of this blog indicated: Signs are everywhere. Some are good and others not so good, but we are excited to have at least one good sign soon to be pointing to us!