I haven’t seen the sun for days.  The clouds make the damp wind and constant drizzle even more difficult to endure.  It’s only December and the official start of winter is only days old yet I’m longing for the warm days of spring but also grateful that I don’t live in the north.  I’m a fourth-generation Texan so winter and cold weather are relative terms.  Long days of constant sun in the seemingly endless months of summer are the backdrop of my life rather than these cold days of winter which makes them all the more difficult to navigate easily.  During these brief times of really cold weather, I’m reminded that living in South Central Texas is truly akin to living in a sun-drenched paradise most of the time…and I’m thankful for that.

I’m also thankful for these brief times of severe (for us) winter weather that serve as a reminder that here in the land of sunshine, living and working are pretty easy.  We generally don’t need special outerwear in order to work, play or just live outdoors in the winter.  Our growing season and thus our landscaping season is almost year around.  We don’t need to invest in blowers and plows to make our way out of the driveway nor leave early or plan for extra bad weather drive time.

These cold spells also make me appreciate the nature of nature.  The deer and other wildlife simply hunker down and wait it out knowing that the weather will warm soon.  The plants also are truly remarkable this time of year.  The hardy perennials simply freeze to the ground thus eliminating the need to keep the energy flowing to foliage but rather focusing on keeping roots strong and sturdy for the coming spring renewal.  This year’s cold snap caught some of the plants that might have already been dormant a little off guard.  My picture shows a lantana bursting its branches and the liquid inside freezing when the temps went into the 20s.  This plant like so many will just remain dormant until the spring warmth returns for good and new growth will happen as it always does in this land of almost endless summer.

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