sensitive, bipolar lion

8am: the sky clear, the sun chirps, the air squeals melt!


noon: the sky dense, the sun veiled, the air whispers snow.


It’s definitely March in western Montana. In like a lion? You bet. A sensitive, bipolar lion.

Hard to imagine garlic surviving under the dense blanket of snow. But I know it’s there, sleeping and waiting for a sun-startle. I imagine those little cloves feeling safe and cozy in the dark, solid earth. Soon, they’ll spread roots and wiggle up a neon shoot.

Like me, Margot can’t believe our plot will be green in a few months

I love seasons. Snow boots, garden clogs, flip flops, sneakers. Squash, spinach, carrots, tomatoes. Right now we are steady and strong in the snow boot-squash camp. And, homegirl is sincerely looking forward to garden clog-spinach. Especially after a sunny day when I wore bare toes and bare arms convinced it was balmy. Then the sun retreated behind a cloud and I realized it was actually in the low forties…but! For a hot second, it was spring. Read more about spring fever and share your feverish inclinations over at mama digs: buzz.

ps Virgin Harvest. Do it. (working on catching up with the emails! rest assured, I got yours!)

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all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from

42 Responses to sensitive, bipolar lion

  1. Kelle says:

    We get spring so early and I love waiting for the rest of the country to feel it too. And loving that this year I get to have a garden like you. You homegirl, you.

    Spring loves: pulling the pool cover off. sprinkler. planning a summer trip. return of Isle of Capri. And this year…my mama’s getting married. In the spring. It will be good. So is the word “beer” in my word verification. Swear.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Looking forward to our annual trip to the Texas Hill country. Beautiful bluebonnets and perfect weather awaits us next week! It is just beautiful there in the spring!


  3. Hillary says:

    Oh the wait. I too am waiting for Spring. We got another dump of snow here last night…I feel like it never ends!

    But I am excited for Spring which means the end of another University year, the flowers that bloom, the sounds of kids on the street, sidewalk chalk and bubbles with the little people in my life, painted toes and flip flops. Oh and NO MORE WINTER JACKETS!!

  4. Now is a good time to remind myself how much I love seasons. If you’re under a thick *blanket* of snow, we’re under an oak mantle. In years past, I would be ecstatic. I wouldn’t bother unlacing my ski boots–I’d sleep in them.

    But alas, my spring fever includes: hunting the elusive Wild Turkey (the bird, not the whiskey–although it often involves both; it’s an annual family rendezvous for us); changing diapers outside; mud! (*love* mud); lime green aspen buds; mounds of shiny, sweaty snow; buying a house and starting a garden from scratch (it’s gonna happen). I’m being realistic here. I *want* to say things like barefeet and cherry tomatoes, but that’s another season.

  5. Cait says:

    That lion’s been living up here in Ontario too. We’ve had just about every weather type up here this week – rain, snow, sun all within hours of each other! I can’t wait for that lamb though!

  6. demandablog says:

    Aw, my girls have those frog jammies, too! How adorable. I can’t wait to get dirty out in the garden, too!

  7. Charity says:

    I’ve never tried garlic, but I just recently bought some to be planted in the spring. Or did it need to be planted in the fall.

    I’m one of those emails joining the virgin harvest. I hope to grow more this year. Not only because it would be healthy, but to help the wallet to. Let me tell you, two teenage boys can eat. I need to get on the ball and post about the virgin harvest.

  8. Julie says:

    Yup, I am ready for green. We left Indiana last weekend for a quick trip to Chicago. Left with a light jacket and pouring rain. Woke up the next morning to 3 inches of snow! Montana isn’t the only place that bi-polar lion lives!

  9. Judybusy says:

    I want to shed all the layers. I am really looking forward to just throwing on shoes and a light jacket to take the dog out. (Our Minnesota March is stuck in the depressed end of bipolar. It’s soldily winter still!) Summer seems so far off I can’t even dream of flip-flops right now!

    The virgin harvest has me stumped. I’ve gardened for 23 years and have a small yard. I kinda like to grow what I already do….hmmmm. Wait! I haven’t grown radishes since a kid! Our food co-op carries High Mown seeds, and I bet they have radish seeds. I can get them in and out soon enough to plant my usual stuff.

    Charity, as far as I know, garlic has to be planted in the fall. So cook up those cloves and plan for fall!

  10. Melina says:

    Yep, that’s March. Sigh. I remember march in Vermont, it’s teasingly warm days followed by lionesque tantrums of ice, sleet, and snow. And right in between the lion and lamb, March 14th? My birthday. I wonder what that says about me, ha!

    As always, such beautiful photos. Also, I love their matching PJs!


  11. rebecca says:

    ,,,3 cheers for spring!,,,it won’t be long, she’s on her way,,,

  12. Jo says:

    Can’t wait for spring! I can’t decide if the warm weather is just a tease to make us long for spring even more, or if it comes just long enough to get us through the next snow fall without going crazy. Either way, I’m loving the sunshine!

  13. drmac says:

    I live in Western Pennsylvania and we get all four seasons here. And I love all of them. I will say that spring is my least favorite…can’t decide what to wear in those in-between temps and everything is very dirty here in the early spring. But I love that we can appreciate each season as it comes in. My husband wants one thing…sun and warms temps, but I’m pretty sure if I had that all the time, I wouldn’t appreciate it nearly as much as I do now!

  14. Monique says:

    We are starting our first home garden this year. Last night we planted peppers indoors. We like you are waiting for the spring. wishing you and your family a wonderful week.

  15. We live surrounded by marinas, so spring to me is filled with the sound of sanders and the smell of bottom paint and varnish. And fresh mulch. There’s a busy energy to the air. And let’s not forget the annual sock burning.

    Spring means cutting down my enormous ornamental grasses, watching bulbs burst with color, cleaning the beds up and putting compost on everything. Pulling out the rings for the peonies and selectively pruning roses.

    This spring means sitting at night designing my gardens – one new bed just for veggies and yet one more perennial bed out back. Picking up my bare-rooted Strawberries & setting them in rich soil. And hopefully soon, opening up the house and letting fresh air permeate every crevice and closet.

    How I pray that we’ve seen the last of the snow. I’m done with hats and gloves and cold bare toes.


    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  16. Daniele says:

    I feel you on every level…from the vitamin d drops to the bipolar weather and 40’s feeling warm. This spring I am simply looking forward to the warmth and light and being outside. I turn 30 in a month and I’m looking forward to that too, simply because I want to just get it over with already! Everyone’s in the oooooh Daniele’s going to be 30 stage right now. Once I turn, they’ll stop haha

  17. Same here in northeastern Ohio. We can’t wait for spring and my first attempt at growing a garden! Thanks for the inspiration–my daughter is loving to watch the seedlings grow!

  18. Terri Holt says:


    Walking the dogs, watching my perennial wake up, fillet Sundays and a trip to visit you!


  19. Zoe says:


    Continuing the purge, sealing up the RV, having an awesome, beer-filled end-of-semester party, and getting IN the Dodge to get outta MI.
    And getting on my bike! Maybe today, definitely tomorrow. We haven’t seen anything approaching 48, but 37 today, and 42 tomorrow make me really really really excited to go outside for more than a short stint.

  20. Tina says:


    Love this post. I just wrote one on my blog last week with the same theme, the last few weeks of winter always seem to just creep by so slowly when we’re all anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and sunshine and birds singing and flowers sprouting.

    This spring, I am looking forward to rolling around in the grass with my girls. I’m looking forward to breathing sweet air, rainboots, and longer days. I’m eager to make a bigger, better vegetable garden than last year… which in all reality isn’t going to be too difficult considering we only did tomatoes last year. I’m excited for our strawberry plant to bear delicious, fresh berries for my girls to rush to eat every time we step outdoors… and I hope they’ll save some for me.

  21. Jessica says:


    It was an amazing day!

  22. Jenn says:


    Sickness has kept us pinned in for the last two weeks, so my need for warmer days is that much more urgent as well. I so badly want to open the windows, walk more than drive, Saturday mornings at the farmer’s market and watch my boys run and giggle.

  23. JudyBusy says:


    Great post, Nici! You capture my own feelings so perfectly. This was a hard winter, because I wan’t able to indulge in my new passion of XC skiing as much. I’m squeezing in as much as I can now!

    But spring—so close, just beyod reach right now. In addition to chives, I’m looking forward to sorrel. Love those two on scrambled eggs! I also planted about 150 new daffodil bulbs, so that will be quite a show.

    Am I the only on who is surprised as I haunt the garden mornings and evenings before and after work: “Oh, I forgotten I had you, little flower!” The garden is so alive, so unforgettable in the moment. Then comes the long winter and memories fade, only to be brought vibrant again in spring sunshine.

  24. Hayley says:


    bikes, bikes, and oh…bikes. the german winter has been a bit rough on this native california. so ready for my sun!

  25. Jen says:


    Running in the grass. Walking up to the school to shoot hoops with Gracie. Flying a kite with Cade. Lazy days rafting the rivers that surround us. Hiking the L. Rattlesnake. Sun on my face and a Big Sky brew on our back porch looking up at the eagles on the mountain. captured it so well. TWITCHY. Yes, that is me.
    Yesterday, at Discovery I sat on the porch eating lunch with my face to the sun. Heaven.

  26. 6512 and growing says:


    Wish you could come soak up some of our abundant Southwestern sun. Was that obnoxious? Didn’t mean it like that. But I think you have two sets of friends down here in Durango. Just saying.

  27. MinnestoaGal says:


    We have a table top watch-me-grow bulb garden on our counter because I just needed to see something green and living. I was going to make a move toward spring by pruning the bushes but then we got another almost foot of snow in the last week and that put an end to that plan. I can’t wait to put in our first ever raised vegetable beds and feel the grass between my toes and watch my son romp around the yard. I always thought of Montana as being as cold as Minnesota but turns out you guys thaw out long before we do and I will be watching enviously and vicariously!

  28. Britta says:


    I can’t wait for after-work play time outside! This weekend was great and the toddler so entertained and happy. Daylight after work is accelerating (and even faster next week) – so much promise (Despite several inches of snow today).

  29. Tara says:

    We had a winter strom Sunday. Let’s just say spring looks very far away at this moment! Almost 30inches snow! Can’t wait to see the bare ground but I think it will be very muddy for awhile! Oh the mess that will come esp. with the chicken coop!

  30. Kristine says:

    Oh, I am right there with you….a walk with my kiddo in 57 degree weather one day and the next it’s snowing and 24*! But it’s coming and I am so looking forward to it! Daylight savings time, THIS weekend! The first sign of the crocus peeking through the messy soil. Then, nights out in the front yard playing baseball and soccer with my little man, watching my perrenial garden spring to life and preparing my vegetable garden for a happy, sun filled summer. Ohhh, sweet anticipation. :)
    Btw-LOVING the new pictures…congrats on your new ‘baby’.

  31. Kristine says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. via

    I can’t wait to take my toddler outside with just a coat, hat and shoes. No snowsuit, snowboots or mittens–what freedom! Spring seems so far away right now. This is the time of year that I wonder why we live here. That said, we do get a ton of SUN, even if we still have 2 plus feet of snow on the ground. And I love snow. But I am having an internal wrestling match with the fact that I am so ready to be DONE with snow.

  33. gramma caro says:


    In western PA, March is the worst month. It teases with warming then BAM! another cold spell with snow–sometimes feet of snow.
    But today I see one inch daffodil shoots so I am happy.. . . . until it snows again.

  34. I can’t wait for farmer’s market and colorful food! I love turnips as much as the next girl, but man how I miss tomatoes!!

  35. Monica says:


    Ok.. sorry to rub this in, but I think our South Florida winters are too short (before you sneer, keep in mind that we don’t have actual seasons down here. We have hot, hotter, holy-crap-its-hot, and ooh-is-it-actually-50-degrees in leiu of seasons). Just as I’m getting used to tights and scarves, hot cocoa and yummy soup, the delicious, crisp, 3-day cold front moves out and its back to blinding sun and mosquitos. Yes, warmth and sun are good and good for you. But, ugh, if I could just get an extra month of chill.. to get a few more weeks of jackets… to get a couple more days of no air conditioner humms. I’d trade you a couple of days for sure.

    But I guess that’s what I look forward to as I see your seasons pass… in a few months it will be December again and I can dust off my Uggs that only get used a handful of times a year. Here’s to dusting off your flip flops very soon!

  36. Carrie says:


    I have three wonderful days to which I am looking forward with eager anticipation: 1) the birth of my first nephew, Max–whom I will shamelessly spoil, because that’s what aunties do best, 2) the day that I marry my best friend, and 3) The infamous and not-at-all-guilty-pleasure of the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert.

    What a spring this shall be!

  37. via

    I feel this way at the end of September. I live in South Louisiana, and here the heat never wants to leave. We anticipate the cool weather like you wait for the warm. Right now, I am trying to enjoy the not too hot weather (highs still below 80) because by the end of April it will be H O T!

  38. Rebecca says:


    ,,,spring is on her way, 12 days and counting,,,visits to farmer’s markets, opening my windows and inviting the spring air to join me inside,,,extended daylight,,,picnics,,,concerts under the stars,,,kayaking down the potomac,,,and tending to our garden,,,excited for her arrival!,,,

  39. Katie says:

    Open windows…curtains flapping in the breeze…spring cleaning…walking…blooming…feet bare…

  40. Jennifer says:


    I love this article! I love your writing, your optimism, your being content with the seasons and accepting them as they are, making the best of it.

    My rhumatologist put me on pharmaceutical grade vitamin d. 50,000 units once a week. Helps with pain, depression and not getting enough sun. I am in Texas, WE HAVE SUN! ) But, I also have skin cancer in my family, melanoma, so I try to be very careful. I am a pasty white girl. SO, I have noticed a BIG difference since taking the vit d! I really do feel great and not sure if it is psychological or for real. I’ll take for real!


  41. finny says:


    I don’t have the same beastly winter blankie that y’all get up there, but I am totally forcing Spring already with my flip-flops (in the rainy 40 degree weather) when I see even a hint of sunshine outside.

    Last weekend – I had the gall to imagine (ok, lustfully fantasize about) putting on shorts and a tank top after I finished the yard work. Sadly, by the time I was done and showered, the clouds and rain had returned, so I had to settle for flip-flop toes by the fire.

    It all worked out because TEE DAH you can drink G&Ts in any weather.

    I’m with you, sister – come on sunshine!

  42. Carrie says:


    You just wrapped up all of my anxious emotions is this post! Beautifully put, I have been patiently waiting for spring and not complaining about this cold winter stuff (which I love) But yesterday I found myself thumbing through my seed packet collection and pacing off a new flower bed in the front yard. One more ski weekend for us and then on to Spring! (whenever she decides to arrive)