Today is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time in the United States and we are all bound to feel a bit messed up for the next few days as we adjust to “losing” an hour. In spite of everyone for years saying we should stop this time change insanity, in spite of science saying it is bad for our health, and in spite of Congress agreeing, here we still are because those same politicians can’t get their shit together enough to do anything even when the majority of the country wants it.

That clock time rules our lives is a sad thing in my opinion. It’s good to have standard time to catch the bus/train/plane or see the movie/play/concert and it’s convenient for meeting friends for a meal/coffee/bike ride, but beyond that, it’s a capitalist nightmare I’d really like to wake up from. Life should not be lived according to the clock. Clock time and life time are antagonists, and we are all poorer for being made to live a great deal of life according to an artificial construct.

onion sprouts in a tray beneath and indoor grow light
Onion sprouts

I was going to say that at least my onion seed sprouts get to live on their own time, but that’s not true. I planted them indoors and they are living in artificial conditions under a grow light and being rained on by me daily, just so I can harvest onions in my garden sooner than I would be able to otherwise. Nonetheless, they do have a certain clock freedom that I lack. They do not measure out their lives in days/hours/minutes/seconds or coffee spoons, but in daylight, warmth, and seasons, which seems a much more agreeable way to go about living.

But at the moment the outdoors is not very agreeable. We have now reached the 8th snowiest winter on record. We’ve had 80 inches/203 cm. Our usual seasonal snowfall averages 51.2 inches/130 cm. We are expecting another several inches at the end of the week, which will bump us up to at least 7th, possibly 6th. I am grateful, however, that the winter has been unusually warm and we’ve had rain instead of snow a few times. If that rain had been snow, we’d probably have the number spot in our sights.

As it stands, the first spot is not entirely inconceivable since in April 2018 we had a three-day snowstorm that left us with 16 inches/40.6 cm of snow. What I’m saying is, there’s time, because snow doesn’t follow a clock and we’ve had measurable snow as late as mid-May before.

As frustrating as this long, drawn out snowy winter has become, I trust the animal behavior telling me that it will soon be over. Because animals don’t live on clock time. They live their lives by daylight/warmth/seasons/food. At the moment, the birds are telling me to not despair.

Until we changed the clock time, I was biking through the morning chorus that has been getting louder and more boisterous by the week. There is also a flock of turkeys that roost in a quiet neighborhood on my bike route. They like to stand in the middle of the road in the early morning, probably because it has no snow on it. In the past week, the male turkeys’ faces have turned blue and red and they stand in the road with their tails spread wide trying to impress the ladies. So far the ladies have not looked impressed. They have a look about them that transcends species and speaks to all females who have been on the receiving end of men trying to impress them.

For the last month, there has been a pair of bald eagles that appear to be living on top of the football stadium downtown. No one seems to know whether or not there is a nest up there, but everyone is speculating. One of the joys of traveling by bike is being able to stop and watch them soaring on the updrafts, chasing pigeons, and once, being chased by three smaller birds.

One of the best things about having an imagination is being able to escape time, at least briefly. Often these last Sunday mornings I sit at the breakfast table with my cup of coffee, staring outside at the snow, and it gradually turns to green grass and dandelions. And suddenly I feel the warm sun and squint my eyes because the dandelions are so bright in the grass. I’m picking a jar of flowers to take home and turn into jelly. I get so lost in this that James startles me every time when he asks, what are you looking at?

Deck railing and backyard with trees and rooftops covered in snow
What I see
field of green grass covered in yellow dandelion flowers
What I imagine – their time will come!
Spinning Update

I got my spindle out yesterday along with the wool I brought home from my spinning class last week. I figured out how to put a leader yarn on it, and was ready to go. In class and prior to when I was trying to learn alone, I spun the spindle and drafted with my left hand. It was how I picked it up and it felt comfortable. But yesterday I decided to try spinning with my right hand. It was awkward at first and felt somehow wrong even though I am right handed. But after a little while it began going really well. So well that I was finally able to stand up and “drop” my spindle!

I still have a lot of practicing to do though. I am not able to draft as fast as the spindle spins and end up with far too much twist in the yarn. So then I have to catch the spindle and hold it while I draft out enough fiber for all the twist to go into. Once I catch up, I can stand up and drop the spindle again. Eventually I will get good enough to keep up. With all the snow on the ground outside, I am not yet being monopolized by the garden, so I have time to practice.

  • Great Transition Initiative Forum: Solidarity with Animals. This is a forum of essays divided into two panels. The first panel elaborates on Eileen Crist’s opening essay and the second panel discusses actions for change. Crist’s essay is fantastic, and if you read none of the others, at least give hers a look.
  • Article: Unlocking secrets of the honeybee dance language. Yes, honeybees have language that is culturally transmitted. It’s not that surprising really. What is surprising is that it took humans so long to figure it out. I do wonder if it’s only honeybees though. Other bees must communicate too. When they wake up, I’m going to start paying more attention to the more than 500 bees native to Minnesota.
  • Essay: Strange Bedfellows. Turkeys and a coyote hanging out together. I’ve only seen a coyote once here, quite a few years ago. They are becoming more common, however. And I recently saw some posts on the not entirely reliable NextDoor that there were several coyotes at the off-leash dog park trying to lure unsuspecting small dogs into the thick mud and reeds on the shore of the shallow lake there. The park is perhaps a mile down the road from me.
  • Nothing of note
  • Star Trek: Picard. I think we’ve watched three or four episodes in this final season. We learn that Picard and Doctor Crusher made a baby but she never told him. It happened after some hanky-panky on leave at a waterfall on some planet. Fine. But it really bothers me that in the 25th century, a time when they have cured the common cold, that Crusher and Picard had unprotected sex and neither of them were using birth control. I mean, come on! I find that to be more unbelievable than the excuses Crusher gave for not telling Picard about the pregnancy.

Related Posts

6 thoughts on “About Time

  1. We don’t move onto DST in the U.K. until the end of March. It always caused confusion when I was working that the US changed a few weeks earlier than we did – played havoc with scheduling meetings. I always thought it was to help the farmers but if they say they don’t need it, why do we all bother??

  2. I wish we would stay on standard time, so there’s light in the morning. I love the light in the evenings, but it doesn’t help our circadian rhythms as much.
    Animals start shedding when the days start getting longer, which is always one of my signs to anticipate spring!

  3. LOL, “coffee spoons.” I see your lil T.S. Eliot reference there. Here, the snow keeps coming and going and coming and going. My sinuses are so confused. I see and hear the birds and then it’s so cold I can barely stand it. Even the college students are confused, wandering around in hoodies when it’s 28 degrees outside. For some reason, the time change didn’t affect me much this year. It’s always the one in the fall that I hate because of that whole leave-and-come-home-in-the-dark thing. I’d once heard that DST was for farmers and sunlight, after which farmers promptly told me that was the stupidest thing they’d ever heard. Much like you were saying, animals don’t follow clock time. They just want to be milked.

  4. Yes, and the male turkeys are going, ‘she doesn’t reeeally mean it’. It’s amazing the chickens aren’t totally buried under all that snow, I keep thinking about getting it all off the house roof! I just hope it melts quickly and you see abundant green shoots soon.

    One thing I find especially interesting when reading work from Indigenous writers is the varied and more linked to the natural world ways of perceiving time – we’d all be so much better off if we listened to what they have to say and incorporated into our very linear lives.

  5. I suppose it is the commonality of the season, but I spent most of the afternoon writing about time for a Tuesday post. I think we both chose some of the same phrases. Bit eerie.

    And that female wild turkey look… On my farm it was so ubiquitous, I wondered how little turkeys ever happened. The girls were all, Will you get your gaudy, fat tail out of my face? Trying to eat here… There was much giggling at your description. 😀

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: