January. A new year. Well, a new calendar year anyway. For me, milling uselessly about the muddy garden, it still feels like the old year, though with that antsy feeling of excitement and restlessness combined, like when you're waiting for someone to arrive whom you haven't seen in a very long time. I suppose it has something to do with the turning of the tide in daylight hours, with the waning having given over to a palpable waxing, gearing up for a new season of bringing forth life, despite no perceptible change in the weather.
I am aching to get started - let me at that seed compost! But last year it was very evident that in my excitement I started my seedlings too early. So unless I come by some cold frames or several score yards of plastic sheeting, I'll just have to sit on my hands for a while longer. The good news is the winter greens seedlings I put out a few months ago (under my currrently single solitary sheet of plastic) have managed to survive the onslaught of a harsh early winter, so it looks like we will be having spinach this year, hooray! On the other hand, though still alive, they don't appear to have grown any, meaning the Chinese cabbage, escarole and winter lettuces I also planted, destined for immediate winter consumption, aren't going to be gracing our table anytime soon, though hopefully we will get something out of them before they have to cede their spot to the spring plantings.
While I am waiting there is one thing to keep me busy, and which needs to be dealt with before the spring arrives - we have a mole infestation. So far it had been restricted to the neighbor's garden, I assume because of the dogs in ours, but with the dogs vacationing in a nearby kennel while we went to the States for Christmas, we have returned to a lunar landscape in the backyard. I suppose I could thank the little guy for aerating the soil in the yard, which badly needed doing, but he's going to have to be escorted off the premises before the garden gets going again. I'm just hoping the return of the dogs scares him off anew so I don't have to resort to more drastic measures, softy that I am. Judging by the even-more-than-usually (which I didn't think possible) muddy state of Maya and Kali's paws when they come back inside, they are on the job, so fingers crossed.