Sun Peeks Out

January 18, 2018

I’m always shocked and incredulous when the days turn sunny in the middle of winter.  Thrilled, to be sure, but skeptical.

It’s like a double rainbow — what does it mean?!

For three days in a row we had 60 degree temperatures.  Here on the Oregon coast, that’s tee-shirt weather, June weather.  I’ve tried to block out most of my memories of last year’s meteorological conditions, but I can assure you there were no 60 degree days.  In spite of myself, I’m hopeful.  Maybe this means a mild winter, a balmy spring?  Wouldn’t that be a treat?

chickens in the coop

To celebrate, we spent time outside.

Jasper hooked up the electricity to the greenhouse and the attached shed, and then we spread fresh straw over the trench and around the front and back steps so that we wouldn’t track so much mud inside (we hope).  We also spread a bale in the chicken coop because they’d reduced their last bale to dirt already.

I worked on my perennial herb garden too, spreading chicken manure, compost, punk wood and old bedding on the cardboard that I’d laid down a month ago.  I’m trying to transition into using permaculture practices in the entire garden, and I’m starting here.  No tilling, no digging, and hopefully no need for weeding will be the end result.

And — this is so neat! — while I was checking everything over and just quietly enjoying the moment, I kept hearing this weird, low crunching, munching sound.  It sounded like something was chewing on cardboard.  I was absolutely mystified until I lifted up the layers and discovered that that was exactly what was happening!  I was hearing the worms and other bugs eating the underside of the cardboard!  So cool.


Another sound I heard a lot of was the buzzing of bees.  It was a little disconcerting to hear and see honeybees flying around in the middle of January.  We saw a lot of them in the straw we put down, presumably because it was glowing rather brightly in the sun, and around the hummingbird feeder.  Anywhere there was a bit of color.  I felt so bad, knowing they wouldn’t find anything to eat this time of year.

But!  While walking down to the girls’ school bus stop I passed by our hazelnut trees (enormous bushes really, they need badly to be pruned!) and discovered that they were absolutely covered by bees foraging on the blooming yellow catkins!  Full of pollen, full of food.

Nature’s got it figured out, my friends.

I just need to spend more time outside observing, apparently.  Which I am more than happy to do, if the weather could just stay so wonderful.


  • wasabi honey bee

    January 18, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Sounds wonderful! Portland did not get that warm, but we did get some sun : )


    January 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    love the cardboard idea-we use newspaper too. Enjoy your taste of spring.

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