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Seattle Fling 2011

Garden bloggers meet in Seattle in 2011

Iced April – View from the bedroom window

View from the Bedroom Window

View from the bedroom window April 10, 2015

The view from the bedroom window shows a world iced with crystal and shrouded in mist.

Yellow birch

Yellow Birch – Iced and shrouded

I love taking photos of this yellow birch in the west field. So mysterious shrouded in fog.

Iced trees

Iced trees on April 10, 2015

I didn’t worry about all the perennials buried under three feet of snow all during the frigid month of February, but ice on the weeping cherry is definitely a worry.

Ice on  the wisteria

Ice on the wisteria April 10, 2015

I wonder how the wisteria feels about all the ice. Probably not happy.

View from the Bedroom Window – March 2015

View from the Bedroom Window  March 15, 2015

View from the Bedroom Window March 2, 2015

February ended cold, and March began cold. 10 degrees at 7 am on March 2. The fountain juniper is almost completely covered.

View from the Bedroom Window  March 4, 2015

View from the Bedroom Window March 4, 2015

More snow yesterday, but warmer temperatures – over freezing.

View from the Bedroom Window  March 16, 2015

View from the Bedroom Window March 16, 2015

Temperatures are staying at freezing or below – but the fountain juniper  begins to reveal itself.  The only place to find color is at the Smith College Spring Bulb show.

Veiw from the Bedroom Window   March 22, 2015

View from the Bedroom Window March 22, 2015

More sun, but still freezing temperatures. And yet melting – or subliming – continues.  ”Sublime  verb –  to move from a  solid (ice or snow) to vapor.”

 

View from the Bedroom Window  March 26, 2015

View from the Bedroom Window March 26, 2015

I wouldn’t have taken a photo today but the early morning fog is so beautiful.  Last night there was rain, then snow.  By noon the sun was shining and the temperature had risen to 50 degrees!  Not for long.

View from the Bedroom Window  March 31, 2015

View from the Bedroom Window March 31, 2015

And so March finally ends. The snow is still deep and frozen over most of the landscape.  Last year there were patches of bare ground. What will April bring?

For more (almost) Wordlessness the Wednesday click here.

Street Art: The Audubon Mural Project

Audubon Mural Project

Cover of Aububon Newletter – The Audubon Mural Project in NYC

The February Audubon Newsletter features an amazing art project – painting portraits of all 314 climate threatened or endangered birds on  the roll down security gates in  the Hamilton Heights area of NYC, where coincidently,  John James Audubon once lived. This is the brainstorm of gallery owner Avi Gitler, and artist Tom Sanford. Street art to spread the word about the plight of these birds. The New York Times thought this was a great idea too.

The Newsletter has other fascinating facts. Do you know why woodpeckers don’t get headaches? The big Pileated woodpecker “hammers its head into trees with a force of 15 mph – 20 times every second.”  ”One millisecond before a strike at a tree, dense muscles in the neck contract and a compressible bone in the skull provides a cushion. . . . Also woodpeckers have very little cerebral spinal fluid in the brain, so the brain stay’s rigid and doesn’t slosh around”

Lots of other fascinating facts in the Newsletter and a plea to join your energies to saving the birds. And counting them, too. The Great Backyard Bird Count is scheduled for February 13-14. Organized by the Cornell Lab or Ornithology and the National Audubon Society this was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real time. Check out the Audubon website and find out about birding, who does it, and why.  If you want to know how to understand birder-talk click here and find out  what an SOB really is, as well as pelagic and pish.

Bright and White and BarelyFreezing

February 10, 2015

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

The house at the End of the Road

Sargent crabtree in Sunken Garden February 10, 2015

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

Cottage Ornee February 10, 2015

Plowed Snowbank 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

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.

From Heath to Cambridge, MA

Heath, MA February 5, 2015

Heath, MA February 5, 2015

On Thursday the snow stopped long enough for me to make my escape from Heath, onward to Cambridge, MA for a visit with my son and a writer’s workshop organized by the Garden Writer’s Association.

Porter Square, Cambridge MA

Porter Square, Cambridge, MA

And what did I see when I got to Cambridge, MA?  Snow. And ice. And icy icy sidewalks.  I should have brought my YakTrax.

Porter Square in Cambridge, MA

Porter Square in Cambridge, MA

I think snow is more of a problem in a city, but the trip was more than worth it. C.L. Fornari, author of Coffee for Roses: and 70 Other Misleading Myths about Gardening, and GWA member. She gave a great talk about how to be a great speaker – skills that are also important for the writer, especially if she is trying to make a living. You will hear more about C.L. later. I gave her a copy of my book, Roses at the End of the Road and I think she looks like she is already enjoying it.

C. L. Fornari, author of Coffee for Roses

C. L. Fornari, author of Coffee for Roses

 

“Blizzard for the Ages” a Bust in Heath

Birch Tree before the "Blizzard for the Ages"

Birch Tree before the “Blizzard for the Ages”

All was quiet and beautiful after a slight snowfall, but the “Blizzard for the Ages” was predicted. Everyone prepared to hunker down. Supermarkets and libraries were unusually busy as hunkering has many aspects. Pots of water set aside along with firewood and flashlight batteries. A state of emergency was declared for Massachusetts and all non-emergency workers  told to stay home.

The snow, a fine dry snow, did not begin in Heath until 10 pm on Monday, January 26.

"Blizzard for the Ages"

“Blizzard for the Ages” 10 am January 27, 2015

This morning I woke to 12 degree temperatures and stiff breezes blowing the fine dry snow off the roof, and across the fields. The “Blizzard for the Ages” seems to be a bust in Heath – for which we are very grateful. The town plow arrived, and we could leave our hill and explore, but I think we will just stay by the fireside.

My Amaryllis Mystery

boxed amaryllis bulbs

boxed amaryllis bulbs

I suppose my amaryllis mystery began on December 11, 2014 when I rather belatedly bought boxed amaryllis bulbs ready for planting and blooming. I knew they would not bloom in time for Christmas, but glamorous amaryllis flowers  are welcome in January and February as well.

I potted all three bulbs up as directed. I did notice that the Athene white amaryllis seemed to have been pruned back more severely or more  recently than the other two. I kept all three bulbs together in our living space which is the warmest part of the house.

Amaryllis on January 19

Amaryllis on January 19

As time passed the three bulbs showed various rates of growth, most especially Athene. If you look closely you can see that I marked her pot with a little W in expectation of a white flower. That bulb never produced any foliage but did send up two bud shoots, one of which began to open a couple of days ago.  We will let the mis-labelling pass. That has happened often enough in the garden, indoors and out. It is the rates of growth that amaze me.  One bulb has produced two bud shoots with  one blooming; one has produced foliage and two bud shoots, one of which is beginning to open; and the third produced foliage and two bud shoots of very different heights.

Is there a solution to my amaryllis mystery?  Is it just c’est la vie? or is there a reason? All three bulbs had exactly the same care and conditions, although we have to assume kind of difference in the striped bulb now blooming.  Any ideas?

Snowflakes and Photographer

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Snowflakes on the car window early this frigid morning.  And the photographer’s hands.

Snowflake Bentley will tell you more about snowflakes and photographing snowflakes. Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the wonderful story about a Vermont boy born in 1865 who loved snowflakes and learned how to photograph them.

For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

All Kinds of Books for the Reading Season on Wordless Wednesday

Books in the Great Room

Books in the Great Room

Where do you keep your books for the reading season that follows the delightful chaos of the holidays? I will show you my bookshelves – or at least portions of the ranks of bookshelves in my house. There are about 44 feet of bookshelves in the Great Room. This section includes nature refernce books, mysteries, essays and cookbooks and books on cooking.

Cookbooks by the dining table

Cookbooks by the dining table

This array of cookbooks is next to the dining table that also serves as a worktable. This is probably the most used collection of cookbooks in the house.

more cookbooks with an emphasis on baking

More cookbooks, with an emphasis on baking

When we remodeled the kitchen a couple of years ago I gained shelf space for more cookbooks (and the dictionary which must always be at the ready for family ‘discussions’) with an emphasis on baking.

books in the downstairs sitting room

Books in the downstairs sitting room

This is just one section of bookshelves in the sitting room – and you can see it hold more than books. Culinary liquers that can’t fit in the kitchen and Christmas is not quite over at our house which accounts for gifts waiting for more chaos.

books in the bedroom

Bookshelves in the bedroom

A motley collection of books lives in the bedroom – fiction, essays, mysteries, and non-fiction.

garden books in the office

Garden books in the office

My husband and I share a tiny ‘office’ under the eaves, but the books are all ‘mine.’The garden books in this section of office bookshelves have to share with reams of paper, envelopes, toner, etc.

Ever since I learned to read, winter has been a welcomed Reading Season. Where do you keep your books for the reading season? For more (almost) Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

View From the Bedroom Window – January 1, 2015

view from the bedroom window

View from the bedroom window

The view from the bedroom window on January 1, 2015 is sunny and frigid. 16 degrees this morning. What view from the window will  I be enjoying on January 1, 2016?  Only time will tell