Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter

Oh, no! Not more snow photos! Do forgive, as I've got nothing else. As I write this on December 21st, the winter solstice and first official day of winter, ironically there is no snow to be seen. But winter was here, it arrived a few weeks ago in the form of frozen precipitation on multiple occasions. It started out with a very pretty hard-frost that I wrote about here. From that point on it's been snow on ground, snow melt. Snow on ground, snow freeze. Snow melt, water freeze. Ice everywhere. Snow again, snow melt, hard frost, fog. In that order. I know, I know, so many of you have brutal 4'-of-snow-in-one-night-Buffalo-New York kinds of winters. We are wimps here. As a native Oregonian I can tell you that ongoing snow and ice is not the norm. The weather in these parts, she is a-changin'. 

So, the only logical thing to do around the garden when it snows is take pictures and feed the critters. That's about all I've done the past two weeks. Here is the fruit of my labors.


 It started out with brilliant "Wow Honey! Look outside!" kind of snow. This was sunrise on a very beautiful morning.


Mr. Happy and I took a frolic around the property to take it all in.


OK, the grasses look lovely dressed up (especially as they're basically dead for the season), and the blanket of white hides many weeds. So far so good.


 A forest-y wonderland on the northern corner of the property.


A decent few inches fell.





 
After a couple of snow showers, it eventually melted and froze over a few days in. 


While I appreciate the beauty of it, oy, to have trees around covered in brittle, heavy ice is to be a nervous wreck.


Pretty! I didn't get very far taking photos this day for it was a little too slippery.


No worries, give it a day or two to melt and let the snow come back. Mr. Happy at it again. It's early morning so the sky is still a bit dark.


A rather amazing discovery these past couple of weeks is how many critters are out there. It's a virtual party on our property after dark. I thought there might be a mouse or two but there were tracks everywhere. And that would be one scary mouse.


Coming and going? Or a race?


Raccoon dancing after dark, me thinks.



These just end at the tree. Squirrel? Magical maple tree fairy?



Probably raccoon. Right? Tell me it's a raccoon.


La la la...pretty late autumnal wonderland.



At this point this was as far outside as I was willing to go. Open the deck door and stick my camera out there.


This photo is from the same day but the sun had come up and the lighting changed.

By 4:00 the sun was going down. Maybe this was the last of it.


Pretty sunset.


Nope, still around the next day.


But it was melting a little more.




At least the sun is out.


Aaah, nearly melted. Maybe we can get some chores done. Tired of snow photos yet? I am.


Then on Monday it snowed. Again. But that afternoon the regular Pacific Northwest banana belt rolled through and it turned to rain and melted most of the snow.


By this morning, there was no snow to be found. The fog rolled in, however, and stayed here all day. Note the ice crystals on the birdbath. Not exactly the warm front I was hoping for.




But, pretty. Today I am happy to report that besides the wicked fog, life is nearly back to normal. Perfect for a winter solstice, Pacific Northwest-style.


This is a snapshot of life here at Chickadee Gardens these past two weeks. Facilities Manager in front of the television watching Perry Mason with a newspaper in his hands. Snow outside, and, if I were pictured, you'd see me running from window to window to watch the birds and see if the snow had melted at all so I could go outside and get some chores done. Maybe 48 laps per day in the house. A little stir crazy. I think Facilities Manager has the right idea. FM watching PM? Nice.

With that, I wish you all a very happy winter solstice, a merry Christmas, a fab Kwanzaa, a festive Hanukkah, and of course, a zingy Festivus, snow or no snow.

Thank you for reading and until next time, stay cozy and warm! Happy gardening - I mean Perry Mason watching.


15 comments :

  1. You captured so many beautiful images! The snow was pretty, but I'm glad it's gone for now. I didn't take many photos. Being able to work from home regardless of the weather (as long as I have power) is both a plus and minus. I didn't even walk around in the snow that much, so I missed out on most of the tracks. I always love how the snow reveals the hidden movements of animals that you don't normally even realize are living in the same space you are. Monday was weird. Radar showed a little pocket of warm air around my house. My mother came back home after trying to make it to work. About 3 miles west, the weather turned to snow and ice. I think it was about the same in the other directions. At home it was nothing but rain, while Longview, Kelso, and Castle Rock all still had snow by evening. No fog here, yesterday or today. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful and sunny!

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    1. Thank you Evan! The snow was pretty, but I am also glad it's gone. The weather in general is so crazy - like Monday, we had 4 inches overnight but not the rest of the Portland area. I saw no sun yesterday at all, neither here nor Scappoose. Sometimes I feel like I'm on some kind of weird island. Do you ever feel that way?

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  2. Lovely! I'm pretty sure, though, that those tracks you saw in the snow were made by bears. Yeah, I think you have big, nasty bears climbing around in yer trees! Hehe. OK, raccoons are perhaps more likely.... ; )

    I don't think I told you that I used one of the methods you showed us here. A year and a quarter-ish in the new house, and I've been finally starting to tackle the - ghastly - mess of a yard/garden. There's a very long, very sunny, decently wide stretch bordering the driveway - all the way from the street to the doors of my studio. Not a single thing but weeds growing there, but I want to put in a flower/small shrub border. So a little while back I did that amendment/cardboard/mulch thing, to kill off the weeds and get the soil ready to work with. Then I'll rototill it later in the Spring. Anything else I need to know about that process?

    Happy holidays - of any sort - to you, TP, and the FM, and a very sweet fin d'année!

    xoS

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    1. Oh no...bears! Hahah..you had me going for a minute there.

      As far as your sheet mulching, ideally you want to disturb the soil as little as possible, so if you don't have to till, then hold off. You can plant right through the cardboard as it will be well rotted by the time you are ready to plant in the spring (depending on how long it's been in place), and the cardboard/amendments around the rest of the ground will eventually decompose. If you want to till, then do so the one time, add (organic if you can find it) compost and plant away, of course making sure they are all well watered until established. Very cool, we want pictures!!

      Happy holidays to you and G, et oui, a sweet fin d'année as well...Feliz año nuevo also!

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    2. Oh, very interesting. So I don't need to stir things up first? Knowing as little as I do about how these things work, I wondered if the soil was just too yucky - clayish, rocky - to plant in without breaking everything up first. But the less I have to do the better I like it! : )

      xoS

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  3. Wow! Your snow lasted quite a long time. Ours seems to always melt the next day. I hope that doesn't change. Great pictures! Merry Christmas to you and FM too!

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    1. I hope you don't get much snow, that is my birthday wish for you Miss Alison!! We are done with it, although I don't think the weather goddess is done with us yet.

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  4. I can almost hear David chanting "Ho ho ho, I love the snow!" a la the little girl in...now I can't remember if it was Dr Zhivago or The Shining. You do have a fabulous view in all kinds of weather.

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    1. Hahah...you are a funny one Miss Ricki! Yes, you have David pegged. We do have a pretty good view, we love it!

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  5. So no damage to your trees from ice? (I hope) A lot of damage in our area. Tree limbs on houses and garages, or just falling into the road. A few entire trees down. We were lucky here to escape that fate. Just a few branches from the neighbor's laurel.

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    1. Actually Danger we were lucky enough to have virtually no loss of branches or trees. A little tiny bit here and there but really, just small crunchy branches. I'm glad you too escaped that fate, I fear many trees are damaged around the area, especially Eugene - that looked like a disaster.

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  6. I, for one, love the snow photos! If you're a wimp, I don't know what to call those of us down here in coastal SoCal where we've been complaining mightily about the cold, albeit not the recent rain showers, for which we're very, very grateful (even if they do tie LAX up in knots). The prints definitely look like raccoon to me. While I've never viewed prints in snow here, I find muddy footprints on a regular basis since they love to play in the fountain before heading into my garden to dig stuff up. Best wishes for the happiest of holidays and minimal ice-related damage.

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    1. Great, Kris - I'm glad to know people aren't tired of snow pics yet. You are not wimps, by the way - you expect a certain kind of weather and are used to it...when it shifts dramatically is when trouble arises. Glad to hear you are getting the much needed rain.

      Thanks for the positive i.d. on the footprints, that's a relief to know they're raccoons and not, say, small bears...haha!! Happy holidays!

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  7. Just the kind of wintery goodness I need to get in the spirit of the season. Glad the ice is gone, but I surely could use some snow right now... I hope you were luckier than we were in terms of brittle trees. We lost two sizable branches on the Magnolia in the ice storm. The weight was just too much - there was a 1/4" layer of glass covering the entire thing. Poor tree - it has had a rough year. Hope you two have a wonderful Christmas!

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    1. Oh Anna so sorry to hear about your Magnolia, I read about it on your blog and feel your pain. I don't know how we got so lucky. Well, glad to hear the snow put you in the spirit - that makes my day xoxoxo...Merry Christmas Anna Bean!

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