February 25, 2016
The melting season with its flooding is upon us. A year ago, three months after we actually moved into our new house, the back yard looked like this after milder temperatures, snow melt and rain. We had known that the backyard had a big ‘wet spot’ but we didn’t expect this.
February 25, 2017
One year later and the flooding isn’t as bad. It is possible to see the progress made in the increasing size of the beds, and the creation of our Hugel at the rear of the lot that is a part of our flooding abatement/no-need-for- irrigation project. The temperature has been mild and was 60 degrees on the 25th so the snow that had piled up was decreasing rapidly, helped by a thunderstorm with heavy rain early in the morning.
View from the window on February 28, 2017
Still more melting and on this last day of February when the temperature is again 60 degrees, it feels like spring. In these days of worry about global warning that seems a mixed blessing. On the other hand, this is New England where the weather is never dependable; winter may still give us a few bites. And yet – there are tiny daylily shoots coming up in the hellstrip.
View from the Window on January 12, 2017
The view from the window is warm and wet. The temperature is 50 degrees at 11 am, as it was yesterday. I am hoping we get back to more seasonable cold temperatures tomorrow. I am remember the loss of the local peach crops last year when there was an extended warm period in February before getting very cold again. The trees thought spring had sprung, the buds began to swell, but then disaster. Lets keep winter cold until it really is spring.
Yesterday I heard some weather prognostication on the radio that put forth the theory that because of weather disruption, our area may find that this kind of winter, with temperatures varying widely, will be the norm.
Reflections on flooded garden
The reflections in the garden this morning make make concrete the challenge we face. Recently I gave a talk about The Making of a New Garden. I mentioned several times that the main challenge of this new garden is how wet it is. The soil is clay and the garden is slightly lower that the three adjoining properties. Lots of talk, but before I closed I showed a picture of one instance of flooding – there was an audible gasp. “We didn’t think the garden was going to be THAT wet!”
Well, after heavy rains all day yesterday, and possibly still frozen ground, this is the worst flooding yet.
Reflections on the flooded garden
The reflections in the water which covers most of the yard are quite lovely in their own right, but they also make it clear where the high spots and low spots are. I know the winterberries, river birch, button bush, yellow twig dogwood, Siberian irises, chelone and other plants are still happy enough, but I am not so sure about the rhododendron or mountain laurel.
As Krishna reflects on these reflections he remains unperturbed.
Fog in Greenfield
but I didn’t attend. The Greenfield Garden Club always has a delightful Christmas party complete with a delicious pot luck and a Yankee Swap which is always great fun. Last night I set out, clutching the party address on Bernardston Road. It was foggy when I set out, but I gave it never a thought.
House hiding in the fog
As I drove along I noticed that even the houses near the road were camouflaged by the fog. I drove past where I knew (approximately) the party was being held but I could hardly see the roads opening onto Bernardston Road much less a driveway. I drove along until I could turn around and tried to see a house number and driveway from the closer vantage on this side of the road. No luck.
My husband was so fascinated by the fog that he took photos all night. I did not find it delightful. It was so thick that even on familiar streets I became disoriented and felt lucky to have found Elm Street, and even luckier to be able to see where Allen Street began. A night of mystery, and some unease, but no party for me. I wonder how long it will take us to eat the big bowl of Gujerat carrot salad intended for the Pot Luck.
So to all the Greenfield Garden Club members who I did not get to celebrate with last night, I wish you all a happy holiday and clear driving from now on.
REMINDER: You still have till midnight on December 13 to leave a comment here, and have a chance to win my book, The Roses at the End of the Road, and Maria Colletti’s book Terrariums: Gardens Under Glass. I will have a drawing on December 14. You still have a chance to win!
February 10, 2015
It is bright and white and barely freezing. The snow has stopped. The plow arrived. One car got out.
The house at the End of the Road
Sargent crabtree in Sunken Garden February 10, 2015
The snow has fallen and drifted into the Sunken Garden, half burying the Sargent Crabtree. The western wall is over six feet high – also buried.
Cottage Ornee February 10, 2015
Plowed Snowbank February 10, 2015
If you look closely you’ll see a tiny branch at the right of this photo, hinting of the three hydrangeas now buried – and probably damaged. Sigh.
Plowed snowbank at the End of the Road
We are really really happy that our ‘driveway’ is town road, plowed and maintained by the town, but I do wonder how far my wood chip pile has been pushed into the field. Oh well, it will be waiting for me in the spring. Temperature reached 32 degrees today.
For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.
Sastrugi February 1, 2015
It hasn’t been a great winter for the formation of sastrugi. The snow has been heavy and wet, not much given to drifting. But this last snow storm brought frigid temperatures and high gusting winds. The result is the first sastrugi of the year forming at the western lip of the Sunken Garden. The word sastrugi is from a Russian word which means snow wave or caves. We have all noticed them.
Same sastrugi February 2, 2015
More now. The sastrugi shifts and the Sunken Garden is filling up with drifts.
Sastrugi February 3, 2015
I couldn’t resist adding this photo showing the final sastrugi sculpture now that the snow and wind have stopped.
Gentle sastrugi waves February 17, 2014
Some times the sastrugi waves are very gentle
Sastrugi cave along the road January 24, 2009
A windy winter brings many sculptural shows like this sastrugi along the road. The wind is a powerful and artistic worker.
Sastrugi collapse February 3, 2010
Sometimes the sastrugi is so extreme that it collapses under its own weight. You may also notice the depth of the drift in the Sunken Garden. That stone wall is over 6 feet high. The Heath winds come blowing from the northwest across the open field and dump tons of snow into the Sunken Garden. I often have to shovel the last icy bits of the drift out onto the lawn to help get all the snow out of the garden.
January 12, 2014 32 degrees at 7 am Windy day
A year ago I determined that I would keep a Weather Review for the year. The purpose of the Weather Review was an aide memoire because I can never remember whether last summer was droughty – or was it the year before. I wasn’t able to stick to a strict schedule of photography, but here we go for a quick run through the year. January 2014 was a month of extremes with early morning temperatures that ranged from -10 on January 4, to 38 on January 14.
February 2, 2014 34 degrees at 7 am
February was cold with lots of snow. Snow on February 5, 8, 13, 14, 15, snow showers until February 20 when we got a wet snow fall. Just cold!
March 9, 2014 20 degrees at 8 am and sunny
March was cold, single digit temperatures until March 8 dawned sunny and warm 40 degrees! Perfect for Heath’s first Cellar and Cave Tour. March 12 temperatures rose to 50 degrees with rain! But then plunged to single digits again. We finished the month with warmer temperatures and RAIN.
April 6, 2014 32 degrees and sunny at 7 am
April brought freezing temperatures, and rain, but also warmth and sun. Temperatures up from 38 to 52 and 70 degrees. However Easter dawned cloudy and 32 degrees, but got as high as 56. Planted pansies.
April 16, 2014 20 degrees at 7 am Two inches of snow
At least April snow doesn’t last long.
May 12, 2014 Mid day temperatures in the 90s
You can’t see the bloom from this distance, but bloom there is. Forsythia, daffodils, epimediums. And after a heavy rain, 2 inches, the night before the Bridge of Flowers Plant Sale on May 16 went off without a hitch in the sun. Many days with temperatures in the 50s. Frost occasionally threatened but the lowest recorded temperature was 40 degrees on May 29.
June 6, 2014 58 degrees at 7 am
Almost time for the Annual Rose Viewing. There is color in the garden, but no roses yet. The month began hot with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Mostly moderate temperatures in the 70s during the rest of the month. Perfect weather for the Annual Rose Viewing on June 29
July 16, 2014 75 degrees at 7 am showery day three inches of rain at night
July begins with a heat wave. Temperatures in the 80s. Torrential rains on the Fourth of July. All festivities cancelled. The last three days of the month were the coolest with temperature at 58 degrees each morning at 7. The highest temperature in the 90s on July 23. Thunderstorms. Look here and see how happy the flowers were.
August 19, 2014 54 degrees at 7 am
After a hot July, August was comparatively cool. Many temperatures below 60 early in the morning. The first day of the Heath Fair temperatures barely got over 60. I recorded 80 degrees on August 26, the hottest for the month, but we did spend 4 days in Vermont. Maybe we missed the hot weather. Lots of flowers in August, as you can see.
September 21, 2014
No recorded temperature for September 21, but it was cold and I was sick and spent the day by the woodstove. As in June many early morning temperatures were around 60 degrees. Torrents of rain on September 6, over 2 inches. September was a month of pleasures, visits to friends, a granddaughter’s wedding and the beginning of autumn color.
October 6, 2014 36 degrees at 7 am
Our first hard frost! Moderate morning temperatures mostly in the 60s until October 20 gave us 30 degrees. The coldest morning of the month. It is time to start thinking about the end of the garden but in mid-month there is still a lot to enjoy.
October 14, 2014
The First Snow. At least a snow like this, a couple of inches in October, doesn’t last too long.
November 28, 2014
On November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving, we left the family throng to race home because our neighbor’s Facebook page announced 17 inches of snow and 31 powerless hours. Fortunately, the long power outage was oddly scattered and did not hit our house. Our pipes were not frozen. Beautiful, isn’t it?
December 9, 2014 30 degrees at 7 am
Snow is pretty, but sleet, freezing rain and ice are not. Still morning temperatures are often around 30 degrees. The coldest day recorded was 15 degrees on December 30.
December 25, 2014
Christmas Day in the morning! And so ends my Weather Review for 2014. When I think back to our second December in Heath when the temperatures dipped below -25 every night for a month, I have no complaints.
November 3, 2014 View from the Bedroom Window
The view from the bedroom window on November 3 shows that the grass is still lushly green. Makes us remember that lawn grass is a cool weather crop. The trees in the landscape are all bare, but a clump of hardy chrysanthemums is still holding on.
View from the bedroom window – our first snow November 14
We woke on November 14 to the first snow. I took a poll and one and half inches qualifies as a real snow fall. Animal tracks confirm it.
Ice on November 17
The snow melted some, but was replaced with freezing rain and ice.
November 28, 2014 after the snowstorm
Thanksgiving came late but because of recent mild weather we were all lulled into a false sense of security. Snow warnings began the weekend before T-day, and did not shift. Tuesday night we planned to leave for Tyngsboro early in the morning instead of waiting. Snow began in the afternoon and kept up. Some of the family stayed home, leaving more Dessert Night for us hardy souls, but the snow stopped during the night. Everyone made it to Thanksgiving dinner. On the morning of the 28th we got word that Heath had gotten 17 inches of snow and lost power. We loaded up the car double quick and raced home – but all was well! Winter is here. As expected.
Only one more snowy month in the year, and I’ll review the movement of sun, rain, wind and snow for all of 2014. This was my one- year project to keep track of the seasons. 2015 will be different. No day is exactly the same, and certainly no season.
View from the Bedroom Window November 17, 2014
By the time we had ice on the trees and landscape we had already had our first snowfall – one and a half inches of the white stuff. But that weather all felt like a heat wave. This morning the temperature was a record breaking 16 degrees! AND the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a much colder winter in our part of the world! The firewood is almost all stacked.
For more (almost) Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.
View from the bedroom window September 2, 2014
August was relatively cool this year, so it should have been no surprise that on September 2 it was 80 degrees and humid. The roofers came to put on a new roof – and were slowed down by a shower in the middle of the afternoon.
September 21, 201As
As the month progressed it became cool again. There was two inches of torrential rain on September 6 – and the new roof is not leaking! Our granddaughter Tricia’s wedding was held at Look Park in Northampton on Friday, September 12. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. Then cooler weather again with a light frost on September 18. Some plants were nipped, but no serious damage. There does not appear to be much change, but the phlox is nearly gone by and you can see the green seeping out of the foliage in the woodlands.
September 29, 2014
Fewer flowers are blooming in the Lawn Beds, but color is rising all around us in the woods.