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The first section of A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold is devoted to a month-by-month description of the natural world as the year passes in Wisconsin, a state located in the north-central part of the United States. Before I go more into that, though, I would like to draw your attention to a fellow writer’s blog, which captured what Aldo Leopold writes about in A Sand County Almanac.

The author of the Lif4Gd blog used a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem that captured this concept beautifully. See more here: Lif4Gd

I particularly liked this stanza:

What would the world be, once bereft    

Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,              

O let them be left, wildness and wet;               

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Back to January . . .

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Illustration from A Sand County Almanac by Charles W. Schwartz.

“Each year,” Leopold writes, “after the midwinter blizzards, there comes a night of thaw when the tinkle of dripping water is heard in the land. It brings strange stirrings, not only to creatures abed for the night, but to some who have been asleep for the winter. The hibernating skunk, curled up in his deep den, uncurls himself and ventures forth to prowl the wet world, dragging his belly in the snow. His track marks one of the earliest datable events in that cycle of beginnings and ceasings which we call a year.”

Living in the South, as I do, it is not the tinkle of melting snow that we hear, but the drip, drip, drop of a steady rain. Gone are the torrential downpours that have pelted us from May through October.

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Winter rains keep the bird bath filled.

Winter in the Savannah, particularly as the weather becomes more tropical by the year, is marked by three types of weather. It is either clear and cold, warm and wet, or grey and what I think of as Raynaud’s weather–neither warm enough not to worry about keeping my fingers warm nor cold enough that I have to wear my mittens. That means it is somewhere in the 50s (Fahrenheit) and I may or may not lose the feeling in my fingers.

Because we live in the south, we also experience things that only happen during warm winters–Painted Buntings perched on the bird feeder, Camellias about to burst into bloom, and the slow swelling of the Loquat fruit.

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Camellia buds

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Macro Camellia bud

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Loquats, which may or may not ripen this year because of our unusually cold November and December.

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A macro shot of a clathrus columnatus mushroom about to burst forth.

 

Next week: February

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