Leap day, 2016. Pity we don’t get to have a leap day more often. But perhaps the rarity makes it all the more special. One of my brothers will celebrate a birthday tomorrow. He was born in a leap year and just several hours past the end of leap day. If he’d managed to be just a bit earlier he would still be in his fifties, but would only have witnessed 14 actual “birthdays”.
I seems to make some sense to append an extra day to February – it being cheated a full 30 or 31 anyway. At 40 degrees N latitude with the sort of winter we’re having the weather is hinting of spring. With the cues from Mother Nature many perennials plants have begun to stretch and push aside the earth above them, awakening for another round, another chance to shine in the sun.
This reawakening has been started now, resources marshalled, commitments made. If we get a hard freeze now there will be severe diebacks and some individuals might even be killed. As beautiful as Nature can be, there are threats as well. To enjoy life requires taking chances – it takes a leap.
When we plant a garden we necessarily place our domesticates in harms way. If we do things right and Nature cooperates we are rewarded with her magnificent displays. These tulips (Tulipa gesneriana L.) can be covered if we get a forecast for bitter cold. Wild perennials, outside our protections must rely on a leaf litter mulch or other cover if their leap is too early. The element of danger, of risk, in the face of a sometimes brutal Mother Nature can make a successful campaign all the more glorious. Take nothing for granted. But do take a leap.