Hardiness Zone 3


It gets cold here.

And it stays cold for a long time.

In the desaturated dead of winter, sometimes the only warmth you see is the slight shift in the temperatures of the greys.

Winter reveals something important about composition, light, and texture that the verdantness of summer cloaks. It’s like the fluff is removed, and all you’re left with are hard lines and pointy edges, which is actually okay and even helpful, at times. It’s good eyeball training for things both elementary and important.

And as of precisely now, this post is going nowhere close to where I thought it would.

Is that how painting works, sometimes?

What I Thought I Was Going To Write About: Because Teton Valley has a short but intense growing season, only the hardiest of all species thrive. Everything that volunteers to bloom here understands that life is short, there is no rehearsal, and if there’s a call to create with your name on it, you’d better hustle up and get ‘er done.

Pop quiz: Find Driggs on the map. And then go ten miles south, into deep purple. What zone do we live in?

That’s right. Want your tomatoes to ripen on the vine? You might want to think “greenhouse.”

Disclaimer: Scott’s property and our farmhouse next door share a secret weapon of sanity that flows through our respective properties on even the coldest of days: the warm spring headwaters of the Teton River bring year-round sound and movement, which is kind of like cheating on the endurance marathon known as “winter” around here.

But that’s not my point.

There are incredibly talented and hardy artists here who take their garbage out to the curb in their gym shorts, one galosh ahead of the other, just like the next guy.

Wait… that’s not my point, either. I think I got one wheel stuck in the “hardiness” rut and then remembered this photo, which I enjoyed taking at the time.

My point is that there is a breed of creative type who don’t wait a perfect spring to bloom, or to wear gym shorts outside with bare legs, for that matter.

They know that each day is precious, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. They only get so many days to produce, so damn the weather.

Just show up and grow. If it snows on your new buds, flex it, and wait with confidence for the sun.

Successful artists don’t wait to “feel like it.” They just get up every morning and paint, or write, or cook, or sculpt, or sing… Whatever.

There’s an awareness that there is an incredibly small window in which to participate in beauty, and craft, and bloomage…

… so when your turn comes, sun or not, give it all you’ve got.

That was my point.


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