In the southern hemisphere, we are about to turn the corner into Spring. We are about to pass the point on the bell curve when the rate of change in day length begins increasing exponentially. The season of short days is about to end!
You can see why these dates are traditionally celebrated all over the world. It is easy to miss the signs. It is still cold and, although the mornings and evenings have been getting longer ever since the solstice over a month ago, it has been at such a slow rate, it’s easy to believe we’re still in the depths of winter.
But once anything exponential gets a go on, it goes at such a rate. Before we know it now it will be already too late to start thinking spring. Imbolc is the signal that, deep underground in the quiet and dark, unseen and easily dismissed, spring is already stirring.
It’s already too late for pruning the early plum. Just this week it burst into bloom. But this weekend I really really must get around to pruning the grape vines. The wet spring last year caused fungus diseases and a really bad year for grapes. I had planned to give them a very severe pruning this year, and burn the prunings before spring. And time is running out.
This weekend I really must also get around to mulching up the asparagus. Very soon now the first shoots of spring will appear, and if I haven’t got around to mulching it will be too late and I’ll miss the asparagus harvest.
This weekend I also have to get around to checking my supply of spring seeds – tomatoes and capsicums and chilis and eggplants and beans and zucchini and squash and cucumbers and tomatillos and okra – and get out the seed catalogues. Already only just enough time to order. I also need to get around to mulching up the strawberries (which already have flowers) and making a new batch of seedraising mix. It’s time to get frugal with the wood ash – not too many more wood stove days left. I should have enough compost left to last until the first of the summer piles is ready but I need to gather it all up to stop the playboy turkeys taking shortcuts on mound building by moving in on my compost.
And it’s a good opportunity to use the momentum of the season to look at the seeds of new plots and dreams and hopes we have secretly germinating in our lives, and dare to give them some attention. And for that I shall need a cake to take for the potluck morning tea and some bread to go with the stone soup lunch.
A busy weekend, in the best possible way.