Finally, January and warm temperatures are gone and February is here and we have some snow. Not a lot of snow, but a few inches. And we have some wind, the kind that cuts through even the warmest coat. Glorious winter! I want to have this kind of weather, because I think it helps in the spring.
We appreciate spring more when we've been cold and have felt the icy wind on our faces. We appreciate spring when coats seem to weigh more and more with each day of winter and we realize, mid-February, that it takes a lot of energy and effort to live comfortably in the winter when there is snow, and ice, and wind!
I think snow and ice, and freezing and thawing improves the soil structure, hastens the break down of old plant matter, and kills off insects that thought they might just winter over. I imagine that the bugs in places like Florida and Hawaii get so big because they never die off in the cold! When I look outside and see the snow cover, I'm delighted to think about what is going on underneath that snow.
I think that many of the trees, shrubs, bulbs, etc. need the cold to rest and rejuvenate. And gardeners need it, too. Winter is a time to rest, read, and plan for spring. When it is warm outside, like it was warm in January, gardeners are tempted to go and do some of the clean up that they didn't quite finish in the fall. I fought that tempation, and I am the better for it! (Besides, I need to store up all the energy I can because I know there will still be a few snowfalls and I'm sure I'll have to clean off the drive way a few more times before spring).