Friday, January 27, 2012


It rained all day yesterday and the morning fog never lifted.

There was a brief break in the evening and then after midnight the heavens opened up again.

This morning there is almost 1.5" of rain in the gauge.  The dense fog has lifted, but there is still some drizzle occasionally mixed with large wet snowflakes.  The saturated ground can't take anymore and "the pond" has reappeared along the driveway entrance.

This is sure some kinda winter - weird, wacky, wet.  How wacky?

The crow is already building a nest (ark?) in the pig-nut hickory.

The rosemary plant has never succumbed to the season and still shows green leaves in spite of the fact I never mulched the darn thing.

And, as you can see behind the rosemary - the grass has never actually gone dormant.

Say - talk about WACKY....   Here you go, Glenda.  Two can play that game.  How's this for some fresh baking?  (Okay, okay, roasted on a dry griddle - but it's still bread! LOL)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow day.

Yesterday I used the snowblower on the 8" we got Friday night.  And some idiot plowing the road filled in the bottom of my driveway with hard-packed stuff.  My little machine wouldn't budge it and I'm far FAR too old wise to try and shovel that stuff myself.

I asked my neighbor's son if he could help me out with his much larger blower, and while he took care of that (thanks, Johnny), I did the rest of the driveway and turnaround.  And that was that for Saturday.

Today I went out early and shoveled off the deck.  *Whew*  Not my favorite job.  But now everything is clear now.  I really wanted to get that done before the rain (yes, I said RAIN!) that is due tomorrow.  Imagine the weight of 8-10" of snow on the deck soaked with rain.  As it is, I'm expecting we'll be having some flood issues if we get more than a sprinkle what with all this snowpack.

I gotta admit, after 3 days of wrestling with snow, I was pooped and kept to the house today.  But it didn't keep me out of trouble. *heh* To read my kitchen adventures - click the pic. 


Monday a.m. - Pouring down rain with very high winds.  

Enough with the freaking rain already!!! *whine*

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Wow did it ever snow last night.  Looks like a solid 6-7", maybe even 8!

Thankfully I'd gone out and snowblowed (snowblew?) the 5" that was already on the driveway and shoveled the same off of the deck.  Otherwise I'd be having to move almost a foot of snow today.

But yeah, it's still pretty.

The birds are gonna have to wait for their breakfast for a while.  I'm still recovering from yesterday's dig-out.

======= a little later =======

I dug a path to the birdfeeder, filled it up and sprinkled stale bread along the path.  The front brought in some new birds that I've not seen yet this winter: cowbirds and red-winged blackbirds.  They, like the crows, make a dramatic statement against the white background. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh, deer.

When I'd put up the snow fence along the back of the property (between me and the golf course) I was kind of hoping that the deer would be routed further down the hill and frequent my neighbor's properties instead of mine.

But these white snowy nights have shown otherwise.  This poor night photo taken just a couple of minutes ago through the sunroom window show that a small herd of deer are all inside the bee ring bed hunkered down against the current snowstorm.

I added orange arrows to point out the 7 deer I could make out in the dark.

So much for traffic control. *sigh*

Bundle up!

It started snowing - heavily - Thursday afternoon when the clipper came through.  For a couple of hours it was mostly white-out conditions.  Sure glad I'm not commuting anymore as the snow fell past sunset making for dangerous conditions for anyone on the road.

Then last night the clouds cleared and temps dropped sharply under starry skies. This morning the deck thermometer is reading -1F.  Nippy!

The storm dropped near 5" of snow.  I'm so glad we got all that snow before temps dropped so the plants would be insulated.  It's downright glorious out there this morning - clear skies and brilliant white snow.  Even the squirrel seemed to stop and admire before scrambling down for breakfast.

I braved the temps and filled the feeder and set out some bread.  Wasn't long before the crows (my favorites) showed up to dine.

They forecast for 2-4" more inches tonight.  Looks like I'm actually going to get to use the snowblower this season.  Oh joy? *heh*

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Still best buds

These two squirrels (1 black, 1 grey) were raised by a black female in summer, 2010 and have never left each other's side since then. Here's a link to the original post.

They spent the long frigid 2010-11 winter together, then all this last summer, and are still best buds to this day.

They run, scramble, wrestle, share food and seem to find great comfort in each other.

Perhaps other squirrels have best buds, but it's difficult to tell.  This pair really stand out though and I look for them every day.

Meanwhile, down in the basement, there are other things to look for every day now.
Click the pic.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Welcome winter!

Yesterday's front piled up about 5-6" of snow hereabouts.  Winds up to 40 whipped it around but didn't seem to make a lot of deep drifts -- just enough to clean up the landscape and make it beautiful.  I doubt we'll get much of the lake effect snow due today, so I'm not worried about shoveling out.  After all, it's going to be in the 40s by Monday and rain is in the forecast (*gloom*).

So I'm just going to enjoy this bright, albeit brief, wintery interlude in what has been (and, it seems, will continue to be) a grey, wet and gloomy winter.  


Meanwhile, downstairs in the basement....

Click the pic.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Finally FRIGID!

My recent lament has reached the ears of Ma Nature.  When I went to bed last night it was still 42F.  Then the front howled through with high winds and arctic air.

We dropped 30 degrees within hours.

This morning it's snowing, blowing, and generally looking much more seasonal outside.

What a GREAT day to have a fire, make soup and get cozy on the couch.

Got to enjoy it now.  It's going back up into the 40s after the weekend. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

O Winter. Where is thy sting?

This winter is a real disappointment so far.  A rainy December.  A mild January.  Only an occasional (and fleeting) snowfall.  About the only ones enjoying it are the golfers.

As for the slumbering rain gage? I'm afraid I'm going to have to roust it out from its rest.  Poor thing.  Another day in the mid-40s with precip on the way from the SW.

You call this winter??

Monday, January 9, 2012

back...Back...BACK to the basement

It's getting to be that time of year.  Click on the pic to travel down to the SECRET BASEMENT PLANT LAB and see what Igor and I are up to.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


2011 was a good year for advancement on the ongoing Privacy Project.  Not only was the cedar fence installed to block out the voyeuristic neighbor, but shrubs aplenty joined the fray.

From left-to-right and top-to-bottom:

3 azaleas installed beneath the north-most gum tree
2 azaleas 'healed in' in one of the compost beds for overwintering
2 spirea installed between the 3 pine trees planted in Spring 2010
8 Canadian hemlock planted under the sassafras trees along south prop line

6 Runyan yews planted Spring 2010 (north prop line)
20 Runyan yews planted Spring 2010 (east prop line)
1 rhody in front of house to replace one that died
4 rhodies planted under 2 ash trees in front yard

6 burning bush joins original BB rescued from Mom - SW corner at road (2 pics)
1 Nanko cherry behind burning bushes
1 Nashiki willow in front of garage window

6 Canadian hemlock planted between shrub islands along north prop line/driveway (4 pics)
2 Nashiki willows in 1 new shrub island

Not pictured are 7 pine trees planted Spring 2010 along the southwest corner back by the golf course along with 4 new spirea back there.

With all the rain we got last season, it was an excellent time to plant all the shrubs.  Once installed and with only 1 follow-up watering, they all did well on their own. 

Last season the golf course ran chain saws and chippers ALL SUMMER.  They LIMBED UP every evergreen they had so they could mow under them.  They also limbed up (or removed) all their deciduous trees to 'cut down on leaf removal in Fall'.   What has emerged is line-of-sight into 3 new neighborhoods and street traffic over a quarter a mile across the links.  What used to be a quiet, secluded setting here is turning into a parking lot.

And you may also remember that the power company came through the area 2 years ago and hacked out lots of evergreens and maples.  Not one of the property owners have planted as much as a stick!  So call me crazy, I'm just going to ring my place with trees, shrubs and evergreens.  It may take a long time to fill in, but if I'm lucky, I'll still be here in 30-40 years to enjoy the oasis I'm shooting for.

Though my selections are based solely on what is available at Lowe's & Home Depot, they have the best return policy around and near the end of the season excellent dickering/deals are to be found.  And it seems every year something new shows up.  2 years ago it was the Runyan (to 8-10') yews.  This year decent sized hemlocks were to be had.   I could still kick myself for waiting too long to scoop up 2 Sargent crabapples this Fall, so I'll have to be more observant next year.

Bottom line, let 'em call me the crazy lady who's always planting stuff.  When they look around and can see (and be seen) for half-a-mile away, the one thing they won't be able to see is - me! :-D

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Winter for sure.

Now THAT's more like it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter finally arrives!

By New Years Eve last year we'd had probably a couple of feet of snow that started falling December 1st and just never let up.

By this New Years Eve, however, the weather remained mild - and WET.  We received over 5" for December.  So here's an update of my monthly rain totals for 2011.  (Keep in mind, these numbers do NOT include all the deep snows we received Jan ~ May, just the rain.)

March 4.25"
April 4.75"
May 8.7"
June 3.6"
July 6.75"
August 4.9"
September 4.6"
October 6.6"
November 3.2"
December 5.1"
TOTAL 52.4"

That averages out to 1.2" (of liquid rain) for 44 weeks.  *blub glub* indeed.  At least the rain came down in usuable increments and spacing; there was seldom any standing water.  On July 19 we got a 4.25" deluge, but that was the most we got on any given event.

Still, it's nice to see snow and feel a nip in the air (25F) for a change.  We're having a fluffy, almost windless snowfall right now (lake effect) and we expect a couple of inches by tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to a little less gloom now that the gardens are getting a nice clean blanket.

As for that poor weather- weary rain gauge?  It's snug inside and finally catching up on some much deserved rest.