Any gardener will tell you.
With a downward side glance that betrays a lie.
They love all of their plants equally.
But despite the assurances that they love all the same, they do have favourites.
Nature doesn’t have favourites, all are treated alike.
Summer to grow, Autumn for responding to the cold, dropping leaves, preparing.
Winter is survival, not sleep. Spring is the reward for making it through.
It’s a harsh and unforgiving world outside during winter, Autumn is a stern warning, predicting what is to come.
Gardener’s hope, dream, love, and think of spring, while trying to keep warm inside.
Plants grow deeper roots, animals seek food, birds leave.
Another pile of leaves onto a favoured tree, hoping to protect it from winters greedy fingers, that it will it make it without damage.
There is little to do to save them besides hope, and worry. Wishing that the winter will be easier then the last is futile, it won’t save the plants from the cold, but it’s still done. Each gardener has favourites, even if nature doesn’t.
Vines once clinging greenly to bird house topped poles, withered like a piece of paper dropped in a puddle, worry the gardener.
Grasses bent with the first too early snow, corn colored, rasping dry seed pods rattled together, cold weather taking the flush of summer color sadden the gardener. Nature doesn’t notice.
Delicate annuals left behind, tightened mounds, dark with frost damage, soon the compost their new home, nature has no favourites. Bright colors meant nothing, cheery hellos turned to sad goodbyes when the first frost hit.
Bobble headed quail stand together on rocks that line the garden, feathers fluffed as they rest for a moment, huddled together for warmth, heads drooping from quick naps. Night time is spent balancing up on the branches, trying not to fall asleep too deeply, plummeting to the earth before waking, tipping back and forth all night, on sturdy little claws, clutching rough branches, they know safety in numbers.
Bald Eagles, perched in the dead trees, brazenly tracking neighbourhood cats, whom intent on delicately picking their way through the grass, are deep inside some imaginary hunting expedition, not knowing they might become the meal instead.
Worried squirrels chattering away at the Doves who come at dusk, there is only so much food and sharing isn’t something that they do well. Caught stuffing seeds in the empty bird houses, entry holes chewed down now blocked, they stand frustrated at the treasures they know are inside.
Mice scurry towards a open door, hoping to get through the winter in a warmer place are not Natures favourite, they might be the Eagles dinner one day, after it eats the cat for lunch. They seek shelter where ever they can fit a whisker into, squeezing through the smallest holes. Dark eyes peek out at the cat who strolls by his tail in the air.
The gardener seeks shelter inside, catalogues open for enticement, watching as Nature prepares to do battle with those that are left outdoors.
Knowing that there is little to be done, favourites or not.