In winter, when the only things growing seem to be icicles and irritability, what pleasures exist for a gardener? Or for anyone living in a northern climate? And in a year of El Niño, what effect does the unpredictable climate have on the soil and the psyche? In his distinctive daybook, Weathering Winter, Carl Klaus reminds readers that the season of brown twigs and icy gales is just as much a part of the year as when tulips open, tomatoes thrive, and pumpkins and gourds color the brown earth.
From the first cold snap of late December 1994 to the first outdoor planting of onion sets and radishes in mid-March 1995, Klaus kept track of the weather, the garden, and his life. His careful, daily observations include the unexpected and bizarre weather disruptions caused by El Niño, which scientists are predicting will once again affect people throughout the world this coming winter.
Gardeners and lovers of the out-of-doors will recognize themselves in the ways that Klaus has come to terms with the harsh weather and chilly truths that winter embodies. His constant, careful checks on the temperature outside and the seedlings inside, his contentment in the basil- and garlic-flavored tomato sauce he cooked up from last season's crops, and his walks with his wife in the bitter chill of starry January nights reflect the pull between indoors and out, the contrast between the beauty and the cruelty of the season.
OTHER INTERNET LINKS
Wisconsin Public Radio's To the Best of Our Knowledge
"Winter Survival Kit: Great Gardening Books to See You Through"