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Seattle Fling 2011

Garden bloggers meet in Seattle in 2011

First Snowfall of the Year

First snowfall November 14, 2014

First snowfall November 14, 2014

This morning I woke to the first snowfall of the year. Just over an inch. Thirty degrees and breezy. A pretty preview of what is to come.

Yellow Birch at dawn

Yellow Birch at dawn

View From My Bedroom Window – March 2014

March 1, 2014

The view from my bedroom window on March 1 was snow covered and cold. 5 degrees at 7 a.m.

March 9, 2014

March 9 and the view wasn’t much different. 20 degrees at 7 a.m. but daytime temps haven’t gotten much above freezing. Because it is so cold the snow is not melting.

March 26, 2014

No reason to take more photos. It remains cold and the view doesn’t change much. 22 degrees at 7 a.m. and windy.

March 31, 2014

30 degrees at 7 a.m. but it didn’t get much warmer in the afternoon. Still the snow is beginning to melt. This has been one of the coldest months of March in years. The maple sugar people are not very happy. However, the south bank in front of the house is all melted, the path to the henhouse is clear and I can feel spring’s arrival. Her very slow arrival.

I have hopes that my April record of the weather, and the view from my bedroom window will see a great deal of green change.


First Day of Spring – Just for the Record

March 20, 2014 9 am

It snowed and rained last night. As the first day of spring dawned the plow came through, but mostly they were sanding the road because things were a bit icy outside. The temperature was already 34 degrees – and climbing. More showers.

The Cottage Ornee is Spring sun

The rain stopped!  Only the roofs are dripping, dripping. The sun came out and raised the temperature to 45 degrees. The snow will melt some today. I am not discouraged because I know it could always be worse. This is what the first day of spring looked like last year.

March 19, 2013

A foot of snow fell during the night – and it wasn’t the last snow fall of the year. Last year The Bridge of Flowers opened on schedule on April 1, but then closed again because of another snowfall. But I’m sure that won’t happen this year. Will it?

Birds That Sing in the Spring Tra La

Birds on snow – snacking

Here are the birds that sing in the spring. Robins are joining the blue jays – and other birds that I can only identify as Big Birds and Little Birds. Sunday the temperature reached a high of 46 degrees, and gentle breezes are wafting across the hill.

Birds and Staghorn sumac

Birds have been flying in and out  of  the staghorn sumac grove across the lawn. The snow is still deep in  spite of warmer temperatures these last few days. Birds are finding meals pretty hard to find. In fact, Tom over at the Mon@rchs Nature Blog says that robins and other birds  will only eat the sumac fruits if there is really nothing else to eat. I knew that crushed dried sumac fruit was edible because I once bought some at a very complete spice shop in Cambridge, Mass.  I never did do anything  with that packet  of sumac; unfortunately I hadn’t yet acquired middle eastern cookbooks like those written by the fabulous chef Yotam Ottolenghi

My husband said he was listening to birdsong the other day and thought it sounded, and felt, like spring. I watch these birds and and hear a snatch of song. Spring is coming, so these must be the birds that sing in the spring.  With a small apology to Gilbert and Sullivan.


Sastrugi – Waves and Caves

Sastrugi waves

Sastrugi caves

Sastrugi are caused by the wind’s blowing  and drifting the snow.

For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

The View from the Bedroom Window

View from the bedroom window 2-9-14

This view from the bedroom window, taken on Sunday has not changed much in the last few days. Temperatures have stayed very cold;  minus 2 degrees this morning. Occasional snow showers and the frigid temperatures have kept the snow pristine and amazingly sparkly. Big storm predicted for tomorrow. We’ll be prepared, but we’ll see.

For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.


The Weather Outside is Frightful

Succulents in a trough

The weather outside is frightful 29 degrees, breeze and clouds.


Have to get the firewood in out of the snow.


The birch is weeping golden tears.


The holly  with its scarlet berries doesn’t mind the wind and snow.

For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

Is This The First Snowfall of the Year?

Snow on the stone lantern

How do you identify the first snowfall of the year?

Snow on firewood

I woke to 32 degree temperatures and a snow shower. but I don’t think it qualifies as the first snowfall.  It is nothing like the October 29 snowfall of 2011. However, it does qualify as the prompt to finish stacking the firewood.

Not What I Expected of the First Day of Spring

Snow on March 19, 2013

No snowdrops. Just another foot of snow.

Snow March 19, 2013

For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

Snow, Mud, Mist – and Tulips

My tulips on February 25

On February 25 I took a photo of  the tulips I was forcing. This little pot of bulbs was clearly not developing at the same time. But even as the most advanced tulip began to decline, the others were just coming into bloom.

My tulips March 10

As I watched the decline of my tulips, the colors changing, the petals crinkling I was reminded of a practice at a meditation center I once read about. On the first day of a week of meditation a beautiful big bouquet of flowers was set out in the meditation space. Over the course of  the week the flowers in the bouquet began to decline and shrivel. By the end of the week, many of the flowers would be very dead indeed. The point was a visual example of the change that comes with every moment, every day, in the world and in each of us.

My landscape March 11

Change is coming rapidly here on the hill. After a few days of daytime temperatures in the 40s, and a night of rain there is still a lot of snow on the ground, but the road is muddy. Fog is  floating over the snow because the air  is so much warmer than the ground. In just the hour since I took this photo the air has warmed further and the fog is thicker. The air is soft and damp. We are on the cusp of spring. The sugar houses are beginning to boil sap into sweet syrup.  I wonder how bad mud season will be this year. The only thing I know is that it will not be like last year. Things are never exactly the same. Everything changes.