Friday, January 27, 2012

Marching in January

The Mar/Apr issue of The Essential Herbal Magazine is *this* close to shipping off to the printer (and we are so delighted with all the scrumptious stuff you'll find inside!), so I got on my wandering shoes the other day to see what was happening outside. No matter what time of year it is, Mother Nature provides us with some interesting sights to see.
This year in particular, the poor plants seem to be confused, but I'm relatively sure that they'll figure it out by the time spring arrives.
I'm ready for spring. Herb-wise, all the dried herbs are stripped and jarred, tinctures are strained and decanted, and the teas are blended. Soon it will be time to start over again! Well... not really soon, but time is flying.
Here's what I saw out there:
There are lots of beautiful seedheads to be seen. Monarda is a series of tightly bunched tubes.
The echinacea has been picked pretty clean by the finches.
Anise hyssop almost looks like a fat lavender spike in silhouette.
Evening primrose looks like long, thin golden trumpets, and if turned upside down, there are still seeds rattling around in there.
Goldenrod stems are still full of fluffy seeds, like winter white flowers blowing in the wind.
Hayseeds poke up through the reawakening lavender.
Around here, a variety of beautiful cones adorn the many evergreens.
I've been negligent about deadheading the oregano, and now have an enormous patch because of that. It makes the bees so happy that it's hard to cut it back.
The little cup fungus that managed to ride along with last year's mulch is going to have to be turned under this year. In the summer, little black spores shoot up from the cups and attach to whatever is growing above. Not what I had in mind.
The swollen tips of the dogwood branches stand against the sky.
And yet, in the sunnier spots, we have glimpses of spring.
Mugwort pops up between the budding daffodils.
Baby-blue-eyes are throughout the yard.
And one brave, bright dandelion blooms, happily oblivious to the fact that it was under snow last week.
It feels great to get outside and walk around whenever the sky isn't leaking. It's rejuvenating, reduces stress, and helps us to get some vitamin D from the sun. For me, I get the chance to see how all of my plants look at different times of the year, except those darlings that hide away completely under the soil. They'll be greeted like long lost friends in the spring!
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