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“The Hills Untie Their Bonnets…That must have been the Sun!”

by | Mar 10, 2014

Everything and everyone on earth needed bonnets—or fur-lined parkas—these past few months, as winter twisted us in its icy grip. But today the words of Emily Dickinson resonate. The sun is finally blasting warm rays against the cold March ground.

Last week I posted an impulsive note on Facebook when ice was pelting down on our first spring blossoms: “Wish I could knit tiny hoods for all the daffodils and snow drops hanging their heads against the icy pellets and bitter wind.”


Well, that apparently struck a chord. Before the day was out, I had lots of likes and loads of suggestions for knitting projects.

Suzanne, Lisa’s sister, asked: “Can you knit some for my birds and a blankie for the owl nest??” (I would have done anything to tuck an afghan around that stalwart great horned owl mama, who sat on her eggs wearing a bonnet of snow that could be seen through the scope in Lisa’s upstairs office in the coldest weather of the winter.)

Neighbor Rebekah placed an order: “I need 4 dozen for my crocus.”


Then came more outrageous suggestions, as if winter was making us all a little crazy!

From cousin Jewel: “Have you ever thought of making doggie sweaters?”


From Karen in Idaho: “Susan Ackerman, this is for you!”


From former student and cousin Laurie in Oregon: “Susan Ackerman, this made me think of you.”


But luckily, before I got too carried away, common sense prevailed. A follow-up message informed us all that—surprise!—penguins don’t really want to dress in sweaters, no matter how oily their wings. Maybe dogs and chickens feel the same way.  And I notice no one was reckless enough to even imagine trying to put a cute knitted outfit onto a cat. Ha!


I stepped outside to admire my daffodils this afternoon. As their butter-yellow blossoms nodded in the March wind, I realized they were just fine without the intervention of my knitting needles.


Perhaps they, like the penguins, would rather go with the flow and wait for comfort and health to come about naturally.

So winter is at last losing its grip. Spring will soon entice me outside a lot of the time! But for the moment, and–to tell you the truth, no matter what the weather–I am knitting furiously every chance I get.

 But, all helpful suggestions notwithstanding, today I am focusing my dreams of cozy warmth and colorful yarns on tiny human being babies rather than chickens, penguins, dogs, or daffodils.

Susan Yoder Ackerman is a writer and gardener in Newport News, Virginia. Both her writing and her gardening are enhanced by tending a century-old family farmhouse and eight grandchildren that come and go. You can email Susan at [email protected].