The Garden Plot

Ray Baird

Celebrating the day I have Epiphany – Saturday, January 6, 2018 will be the day of epiphany. As the day of epiphany arrives, with it Christmas fades into the background and like the wise men, we begin the journey into the future. The word epiphany in Greek simply mean shining or revealing. We are drawn to the story of the wise men who are guided by a star to bring gifts to a newborn King almost two years after his birth. They would find out that God is revealed in the most unexpected of places to discover a king. They first went to Jerusalem expecting to find the promised King, but soon found out he must be somewhere else and so they continued to follow the star as their journey continued. The star finally stopped and it lit upon a certain house in Bethlehem. They responded with joy and after they greeted Mary and Joseph, they worshiped Christ, the newborn King and presented gifts. As we make a journey of faith on the day of epiphany, 2018, may the song of the wise men be strong in our hearts. “Star of wonder, star of light, star of royal beauty right. Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to that perfect light. Nearly 2018 years ago, seekers journeyed a far out into a distant land following a star.

Some crazy weather lore to begin 2018 – This weather lore is a unique eye-opener for the first week of the new year. This lore states if it rains much the first 12 days after Christmas, it will be a wet year. My grandmother in North Hampton County in eastern North Carolina had a different view on the weather lore. For the first 12 days after Christmas her prediction was each day represented one month of the year and that days weather would predict what the weather would be for the whole month. That the first 12 days will determine the whole weather situation for the year. We really think both these predictions are simply lore and simply crazy!

A few more Christmas gifts – As the new year begins, we are receiving a late Christmas gift each evening as an extra minute of daylight. We can’t see much difference, but by month’s end we should see more daylight. The days will get longer by a minute per day until June 21.

Making plans for the garden plot of 2018 – The very first plan for the new garden year is to check the new 2018 garden catalogs to see the latest offerings. Check to see what is new and different that may do well in this year’s garden. Always remember to only purchase seeds from catalogs that you cannot find locally because most packets contain 30 seeds or less and you also have to pay for shipping and handling.

Keeping an eye on the Christmas cactus – As we move into the first full month of winter, the Christmas cactus is muddling through in the living room in its sunny location. All it needs is a drink of water every 10 days and a drink of liquid fertilizer once a month. The ferns of asparagus and panda are still very green and will need to be trimmed back every month.

Plowed Monday in New England – Monday, January 8, 2018 will be celebrated as plow Monday in New England states. This day occurs on the Monday after epiphany which was Saturday. For them it is the end of the Christmas and new year holiday season and farmers return to their 12 hour schedules. After three weeks of celebrating its Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s back to work we go.

Will January be a snowy month? – As the new year begins can we dream of a white January? It is possible because all the leaves are off the trees except the mighty oaks and they are waiting for a snow to bring them down. We are certainly looking forward to some January snow to cover the garden plot and kill insects. It does not have to be cold to snow, but a nice snow can quickly bring temperatures down.

Bundling up on the winter front porch – The sun does shine during the winter and as the Dean Martin song says, “Its sometimes red like a pumpkin head and it should and it shines so your nose won’t freeze.” We like the sunny porch on a winter day. All we need is a blanket and a toboggan and a Mountain Dew. Watching the sun move across a Carolina blue sky that may turn gray before the end of the day and watching birds at the feeder‘s as well as crows calling out to each other and inhaling fresh winter air. We need to build up our immune systems in winter and condition ourselves for it. All God’s creatures condition themselves for winter except we humans!

January Almanac – Monday, January 1, 2018 will be New Year’s Day and there will be a full wolf moon on the night of January 1, 2018 as we begin the new year. It will look very silvery as it shines all night during the first night of the year. The day of epiphany will be celebrated Saturday, January 6, 2018 and is also known as the 12th day of Christmas as well as “Old Christmas”. The moon reaches its last quarter on Monday, January 8, 2018. Martin Luther King holiday will be Monday, January 15, 2018. The new moon of January will be Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Benjamin Franklin‘s birthday will be Wednesday, January 17th, 2018. The moon reaches its first quarter on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The second full moon of January occurs on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 and is named full old moon and is also known as a blue moon.

January 2018 begins and ends with full moons – The first quarter of the year 2018 features a couple of unusual lunar events with two full moons in the month of January and no full moon in the month of February. Then we have two full moons during the month of March, 2018.

Enjoying the waning wolf moon – There was a full wolf moon on Monday evening of this past week. It is rising a while later each night as it winds its way down. Check it out each night at bedtime and enjoy its bright silver glow.t

Ray Baird