In recognition of yet-another-local-lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic, I'm doing a week of feature blog posts about living in the backyard. From May 10th through 16th, my posts will be themed around life outdoors but as close to home as possible, a few steps out the back door.
It’s always striking to me that we live in a deeply seasonal place.
I’m sure that other parts of the planet go through their own share of seasonal variation, but living in one of the more northern capital cities on the Earth also makes places us in a group where vast differences exist between the heart of winter and the edges of summer.
Today I sit in my backyard in spring and enjoy a mild temperature, barefoot kinda day.
Four months ago I hardly dared open the door to the brutal cold.
Four months from now I’ll be picking fruit and veg from trees that at the moment seem barely alive and from soil that is little more than a crusty brown patch in the corner of my backyard.
I’ve been busy spring cleaning for the last couple weeks.
Grass to be raked. Leftover leaves that didn’t get sorted out before the snow last fall were starting to rot on the lawn. Flowerpots are full of crusty dried remains of last year’s greenery. Weeds are emerging and poking through the lawn and garden beds. Winter dust and the bits of residue from the long-melted snow needs to be wiped down. And that’s not even to mention the various bits of fence, deck or furniture that need a touch of paint or a tightened screw.
My lawnmower died as well, and neither wanting to see it dropped into the landfill nor having the patience or skill to repair it myself I hunted down a guy online who takes them as donations, fixes them up, and gives them a new life. But of course that meant a big clean-up of the shed, and rearranging all the various things I’d stored in there over winter, all to extract a broken tool and roll it out to the curb.
Spring cleaning is a real thing here, not because it’s a good time to get it done but simply because the season ticks over and that it needs done becomes obvious.
The trees are budding with their baby leaves and blossoms.
The grass is turning from a pale yellowish-brown to a vibrant green.
The bees are buzzing through the air and investigating the spring-waking world.
A few weeks from now it will all be just another summer, but for the moment spring is in clean-up mode, as am I, and the passing of winter feels like a barefoot kinda day in the backyard.