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December 1st as I write this, and you know what that means. ONLY 21 DAYS!

No, not 'til Christmas.

'Til the days start getting longer, oh boy!

Winter Solstice is December 21, and it’s my favorite day of the whole year (well, except every day is my favorite day :) ).

And it’s about the last day I can manage to keep a rein on spring fever. Wait, I take that back—out of respect to our Christmas tree (wouldn’t want to hurt its feelings!), I wait til after the holidays to go crazy with seed shopping, and seed starting, and covering every flat surface with trays of little pots full of treasures-to-come.

Not nearly time to start tomatoes yet, and besides, that’s not even a tempting thought, since I still have a potted cherry tomato plant in the sunny window, giving me a genuine fresh little tomato every two weeks or so.

I’m talking flowers, of course.

And, since the gardens are already pretty much crammed full, what to try next is going to take some thought.

That’ll take a while, of course. And require endless paging through seed catalogs (first one came last week, oh joy!).

Can’t think of a better thing to do on these long, dark nights, to keep me busy until we start turning toward the sun.










After we wrote the story of Snowflake, our oddball leucistic chickadee, for the Birds page... He came back!

He's been here every day, visiting frequently to snatch another peanut.

And Matt even managed to get his picture, which is not an easy thing to do with any chickadee. Those little guys move fast.

Meet our newest feeder friend, Snowflake :)

(And read all about him on the Birds page.)







November already! How'd that happen? Seems like it was just September.

Ever wonder why it seems like the weeks just fly by, and the months, too?

Brace yourself—it's because we're getting older.

Remember when you were a kid, and whatever special day you were waiting for—Christmas, or summer vacation, or your birthday—seemed like it would never get here?

The time just dragged on and on. Each day felt like a week, even if you X'd them off on a calendar.

And, boy, by the time you managed to X off a whole week, wow, that felt like a really big deal.

And now—well, it's Friday again before you know it. "Was that a week ago?" Matt and I often ask each other. "Or two weeks? A month?"


A beautiful hand-drawn calendar I found in an old school notebook that once belonged to Solon Schwoyer, a fellow from Berks County, PA...



It's not an illusion. Time really does go faster the older we get.

At age 6, a stretch of two months, say, is 1/16th of the entire time we've been alive.

At age 60, two months is 1/160th of the time we've been alive.

That "proportional time" effect is what makes the weeks fly by faster and faster, the older we get.

The length of time we've already lived is way, wayyyy longer than it was when we were kids waiting for Christmas. So any length of time seems, and is, much shorter—proportionately speaking.

Doesn't hold true when we're talking about just a single day, though. Or maybe it's just not so apparent, because, come to think of it, I well remember how the school day seemed to last forever. And nowadays I look at the clock and say, "Wow, it's 2 o'clock already! How'd that happen?"

How many days til Christmas? It'll be here before you know it.




That's it for now, but don't forget to check out the Flowers and the Birds pages for more news!

And if you enjoy Sally's columns in the newspaper, or her books, or her articles in Birds & Blooms, or our postings on Facebook, check out Nature Ramblings, our latest book project. Thanks!