Yesterday I started one of my winter projects -- shortening my privet hedge.
I know some garden gurus will tell me that's wrong, because it's not the dead of winter yet.
They need to define the dead of winter.
I'm going by the fact that tomorrow is the first day of the month of Tevet on the Jewish calendar, and six weeks exactly before Tu B'Shevat, Jewish Arbor Day, the New Year for Trees.
On Tu B'Shevat the sap will be rising in trees and bushes. Watch for it; they will flush about the same color as their buds or the color the leaves were before they fell. For privet, it will be a yellowish color.
The other sign that the winter is about to turn is the fact that candle-lighting this Sabbath will be one minute earlier than last week, while next week it will be the same time as last week. After this week candle-lighting for Sabbath will get later and later. Always a good sign in my book; anything that says winter is closer to its end is good.
The Gregorian calendar says the winter solstice is December 21. The Jewish calendar goes by actual sunset, not when the sun hits one of the tropics. I'm trimming the hedge now.
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