For the record, it’s not winter yet in Western New York; let’s make the best of our weather

dandelion late November 2014 in Amherst NY
Dandelion blooming Nov. 30, 2014 in Amherst. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

It sure felt wintry in Western New York before Thanksgiving. When people ask me how much snow I got, I say: “Just 10 inches.” I emphasize the word “just.”

In other years, 10 inches of snow before Thanksgiving might feel like a lot, but compared to the seven feet that other people got, it’s hardly worth mentioning.

Yet after Thanksgiving, the weather got so warm it felt like the calendar was going backwards. It seemed as if we were moving toward summer instead of winter.

In fact, this weekend I saw newly blooming wildflowers in neighbors’ yards! Yes, those flowers were dandelions, which many of you see as weeds rather than flowers. But they looked perky and sunny. They made me feel happy and even hopeful. It was a reprieve from that blast of winter.

Even if you view dandelions as weeds, there’s still a bright side. Those bright yellow blossoms tell you where the plants are so you can quickly yank them out before they go to seed or before we get more snow– whichever comes first.

For the record, it’s not winter yet. Winter starts officially at 6:03 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21.

You can complain that winter is just beginning, but remember that Dec. 21 is the shortest day of the year. The dark days get me down, and it’s a relief when we start getting more and more sunlight every day. By Dec. 21, I like to think the worst is over.

But I know there will be more cold and more snow, and that’s the part of winter that many of you don’t like. Here are a few ways to make the best of whatever weather is in store for us in the next few months:

colored ice balls in three containers in Amherst NY
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

4 Comments on “For the record, it’s not winter yet in Western New York; let’s make the best of our weather

  1. Peggy, it’s good to hear that your garden was going well long after Labor Day! Thanks for sharing the tip about the fabric over your parsley. I have some parsley in a container that I planted late. It hasn’t gotten any bigger in awhile, but it’s still alive. Right now it’s near the kitchen door where I can see it, but I may take it into the backyard and bury it in leaves. I did that with my sage plant and that plant is still doing well. Pruning by deer? Sigh. I have rabbits, which pruned my daylilies. I feel your pain.

  2. When I retired one of my goals was to be a better fall gardener. The cold, not snow up here in Lewiston, did in my lettuces-a green oakleaf and red leaf, and kohlrabi. I just pulled the last of my collard greens and leeks. Deer, I think, kept my swiss chard pruned back. I have my parsley under growing fabric and wished I had pulled some over my lettuce. There are many vegetables that do well if they have grown enough before the moderate cold sets in and they sort of hibernate in nature’s refrigerator, but they will freeze without protection.

  3. Donna, I think that’s how most people feel. There are probably people who would be relieved if we don’t get another seven feet of snow before April.

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