Now that the extremely bitter cold has passed I feel like this column may be a bit more welcome. As I was walking out to feed my pigs recently, before the polar vortex swept through, I thought about how much, under normal weather conditions, I really enjoy winter. Three of my favorite things about winter are how the snow crunches under your feet as you walk through it, how the snow sparkles as sunlight hits it, and the fresh, crisp smell of the winter air. I know I would really miss winter if I lived in a climate where the weather is warm and sunny year round. There are things I enjoy about the other seasons as well. In the spring I love how you can hear the toads and little frogs singing their songs, which are a sure sign that spring is on the way. The delicate green of trees starting to bud is also one of my favorite spring signs. I enjoy watching them grow greener each day and marvel at how rapidly the process occurs. When we reach summer the lush green of our environment is such a beautiful sight. When my daughters lived in New Mexico and would come home to visit in the summer they always loved to see how green every thing was. New Mexico is a beautiful state but definitely lacks the green of our Iowa seasons.

Summer is beautiful in Iowa, too, but as we all know there can be some very hot and humid days to contend with. My favorite parts of summer are the lovely blue-skied days with the temperatures in the seventies to eighties. As summer eases into autumn we enjoy the changing colors of the leaves of our deciduous trees. Reds, yellows, oranges, and burgundys create wonderfully colorful views of the trees before their winter sleep arrives.

I love traveling to other parts of our country but I am always glad to be back to Iowa where I can enjoy the beauty of our four seasons.