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Saturday essay: The winter slain

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 9:08 p.m.

The lining is green in all of winter's-come-lately suddenly white and gray hues.

Yes, it's difficult to believe, given the crunch of the ice-crusted snow and the pronounced creaks, surely painful, of the wind-bent cherries, hemlocks and maples.

But, alas, renewal and revival are nigh. In fact, it's far closer than usual — if we are to believe that the prognostications of the wizards of weather are not as fictional as the novels half-read on our bedstands.

While February is expected to mimic late January's Siberian impersonation, March and April are predicted to be balmy beacons of summer's joys to come.

The rustling and clattering you just heard in the background is every gardener within the sound of this keyboard gleefully bouncing down the basement stairs, sorting through the piles of summer stored to find and check the grow lights, counting the number of seedling pots and making mental notes about how much starting medium is needed.

The time to plant those seeds is now, of course. And the prospect of a warmer late winter and early spring is all the more tantalizing. For those seedlings can be hardened sooner, set earlier and the fruits of those labors harvested before others might even think of buying their first seed packets.

Oh, it will be snowing and blowing and icing and biting outside as the first pots are filled, the first seeds sown and the grow lights are set. But few would not consider the winter slain, at least in their hearts, as this lovesome process bows.

— Colin McNickle

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