Maybe it's not as insanely snowy as Boston, but it's Chiberia here, and it's going to get colder--wind chill advisory of 30-below. We all could use a spring break. Here are 7 ways you can get into a spring mood right now.
1. It's almost here. Some say spring begins with the vernal equinox. Yes, astronomical spring. But meteorological spring starts on the first of March. So close now... less than two weeks away!
2. Color, color, color! Think yellow greens, orchid pinks, turquoise blue--colors of warmer and sunnier lands. Maybe you can't go there, but you can find those colors here. You may even have something in your closet. Go for bold and bright. Pile on the colors! How about a neon orange ski cap with those dark winter layers?
3. Spring Training--Yes, even sweeter than "I love you" are these wonderful words--pitchers and catchers report. Does your heart soar like a home run at the thought of baseball? Players are reporting already. Will this be the year?
4. Real palm trees--- When visions of Florida palm trees and Arizona sunshine aren't enough, there's palm trees right here! Lincoln Park Conservatory has palm trees and orchids. Garfield Park Conservatory even has a Palm Room. Oak Park Conservatory also has banana trees. Don't forget the Botanical Gardens in Glencoe. Surround yourself with greenery and humidity. It's like a tropical getaway.
5. Indoor gardening--There's more daylight already, and bright summer light in the seed catalogs. Don't those tomatoes look great? If you are feeling ambitious, why not try starting some from seed? If you're not feeling that ambitious, there's basil seeds and potting soil at Walgreens. This year, I am going to try and grow some basil. Start the seeds in pots on a sunny windowsill. Just add water. And, it goes great with tomatoes.
6. Spring flowers-- Before I had a cat, every winter I would grow a succession of paperwhite narcissus bulbs. These are available at garden centers and online. You can plant them in pebbles and water, and they will bloom for you. You can find them already blooming at florist shops, along with other spring bulbs. Crocus and tulips are also in bloom there. WARNING-- All these bulbs are poisonous to cats! If you want something for your cats, try cat grass. Even if you don't have a cat, it's fun to grow, too.
7. Spring skywatching--The constellation Scorpius is considered a harbinger of spring. Read more here. Look for it in the southeast in the predawn sky of February. And you can still spot Comet Lovejoy on these cold, clear nights.
Yes, spring is coming. Even now, the sparrows and cardinals are greeting the longer days. Warmer days are coming. In the meantime, here are some Chiberian style tips...
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