Last year at this time, at the farm, my angel wing begonias, the ice plant that I brought up from central Mexico, and every fern I planted were showing off flowers or leaves or fronds that were busy photosynthesizing on ever greener plant stems.

Not this year.

All those things I mentioned above look quite dead. They are a mass of brown, sometimes a bit gooey, gelatinous mess that I am hoping might be shielding roots ready to spring to life.

Some will probably do that and some probably won’t.

It’s been a cold winter even for Gulf Coast standards. It’s the polar vortex.


There is this:


Which will be this in a month or so…


And there is this, whose seeds are finer than sand almost, black poppy seeds that blew in the wind and found fertile soil months ago


That will be this a little after the bluebonnets do their stuff


I lovingly planted this, found in far west Texas around the mountain town of Alpine, a honeysuckle, which I have grown to covet, called Kintzley’s Ghost.  Look close. Among all the dead is just a hint of life.

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See it?

It’s barely eking out a living.

I am hopeful though.

This is what I hope for

Ghost honeysuckle

The point to all this is that while nature may look like she’s doing nothing during a polar vortex episode, the truth is she is.

Seeds sown by wind or hand, nurtured in dark damp soil or roots whose cells produce their own antifreeze are waiting. For the right amount of sun, the right temperatures to show just how glorious life is.

Doesn’t this just make you want to sit and watch?