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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever - Anxiety caused by living in isolation or indoors for a long period of time.   That's what the definition says though I'm not sure "anxiety" is quiet the right word. I like "antsy" better.  We just want a change of scenery. Some of us feel trapped.  Snow makes it worse.  My response is to either go to sleep or go outside.   
Part of what makes me "antsy" this time of year is that I see all the hints of spring and it makes me want to do something to help. I am stymied for the ground is too frozen and wet to dig a new flower bed.  It's too cold and the days too short to plant seeds.  I don't have enough sunlight to plant them indoors.   So I go outdoors and just wander around searching for signs. 
Last week, right before the snow I noticed the large pile of leaves from last fall's raking.  A year ago, as soon as he raked them, Jeff spread the leaves all over the vegetable garden to add some fertility to a spent plot.  This year he decided to pile them up for the winter then he will spread them out in the spring.  I enjoyed seeing the pile there, its wet inner leaves full of bugs and fungus working, turning them in to a good garden cover as vital leaf mold grew, breaking down vital elements so they would be available to feed our vegetables in a couple months. 

The birds, too were preparing.  Robins are already starting to think about spring families.  It is common this time of the year to find old nests on the ground, the nest having been dislodged and tossed aside as the previous owners get ready to build a new home. One year I found such a nest in my flower garden.  The past summer it had been build amid the uppermost branches of the dogwood now growing above it.  I picked the nest up and placed it in the fork of the trunk.  It seemed too nice to destroy.  The next morning the nest was back on the ground.  I was suspicious, but thought maybe the wind had knocked it back to the ground.  I wedged it back into the fork.  By late afternoon the nest was on the ground once again.  I then placed it on the ground among some bulbs that were coming up, deciding to accept the robin's judgment.   Maybe that is the robin's way of dealing with cabin fever. Maybe the robin said, "Enough!" "I can't take it anymore!" A weekend getaway was not an option so the birds just ripped their home off its foundation and tossed it to the wind with a whistle and a song, not even watching as it fell to the earth, discarded while the robins flew off to shop for new twigs and dry grass.

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