In winter I like to play outside in the snow just long enough to make a snow angel, build a snowman or throw a few snowballs, and then I’m done and ready for the ice and cold to go away. During the summer I can’t wait for the blistering heat to dissipate and the rain to return so I can stop fretting about my garden turning to ash right before my eyes. And in the fall, I’m counting the days until the monsoons end and the sun peeks once more through the clouds.
It’s been a beautiful spring weekend on the Rock. Sun was out, flowers were in bloom, farmers’ markets were bustling, sailboats and kayaks were out, lawns were mowed. And, of course, there were at least five non-profit fundraising events to attend up and down the island. Make that at least six. There was one wine-and-cheese affair I didn’t receive an invitation to. How did that happen?
When you live on the Rock, it is almost impossible not to volunteer. Hardly a day goes by without some opportunity to do something good for someone around here.
Once I had the space ready and the deer fencing in place, the time came to tackle the task of choosing the perfect trees to plant. In this column I’ll share with you what choices I made and why.
I’ll admit I got a little spoiled this past fall. When you’re weeding beneath a tree practically dripping with ripe fruit and the homeowner tells you to help yourself, what does any sane person do? You know it. You reach up and avail yourself of succulent pears, juicy apples and peaches to die for.
I hesitate to say that this winter’s rain has set a record here on the Rock. Somebody out there would surely arm-wrestle me over that. Until recently, weather gauges — even the good ones — were not always reliable. So I will politely avoid an argument over this being the wettest winter ever. It just feels like it.
Even though the first day of spring is officially a long ways away, you don’t want to wait much longer to set this year’s vegetable garden plans in motion. That’s because our mild climate makes late February the perfect time to sow snow peas, fava bean and many varieties of carrots, radishes and onions directly in the ground.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Love is in the air, chocolate fills every store shelf and lovers put on public displays of affection at every opportunity. But, although we like romance as much as anybody and we take love seriously here on the Rock, talking about such things can make us squirm.
There’s a shrub I think we ought to see more of around here, especially in the wintertime when a spot of cheerful color in the garden is just what some of us need to lift our spirits. It’s called beautyberry, or Callicarpa.
January’s a good month to be thankful and wishful. After all, there’s not much else to do; it gets dark too early, the tides are too high for beach walking, and it’s too cold outside.
Despite swaths of Washington recently getting pummeled by heavy snow, I’m convinced either Mother Nature has hopped on a freighter heading to parts unknown or is holed up somewhere gorging on brownies spiked with wacky weed and way too much sugar.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a child the one thing I could always count on finding on Christmas morning was an orange or tangerine in the toe of my Christmas stocking. I suppose this was a holdover from the days over a century ago when citrus fruits were considered exotic treasures during the cold depths of winter in these parts.
Long, long ago – about 15 years, to be exact, BFB (before Facebook), BTW (before Twitter) and BSP (before smart phones) – a few passionate people on Whidbey Island were very upset that the Rock had no local public radio station to call its own.