4:51:42 PM

With temperatures back up into the 40s, I made another attempt to
finish spreading our 10 cubic yards of composted manure. I made a
lot of progress, but there’s still more to go.

I also raked the last of the leaves into our flower beds. In the
process I noticed almost all of our garden plants have succumbed
to the cold. The lush nasturtium is only a tangled heap of stems.
The spearmint is brown and brittle. The creepers – periwinkle,
mother of thyme, bearberry – are still green, but not the delicate
green of spring’s first growth. They shine a deep, dark, hard green –
the tough green of evergreens in winter.

What surprised me, though, was a single columbine, as light and lacy
– and green – as it had been all summer, untouched by the snow and
near-single-digit temperatures we’ve had. Even more surprising,
the red clover seeds I scattered for “green mulch” in the spring –
are sprouting!