Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Harvests

During this weather, the birds have been busy harvesting seeds from the flower stalks still hanging around in a whiskey barrel. Hmmm... sure, I left them there on purpose.

That's the barrel, at the bottom of the photo. Photo from Christmas Eve.

And, I hope this will be the end of the snow posts for a while! I awaiting my seed catalog. January will bring garden planning. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Inside Days

Nikko, watching the snow, squirrels and birds. (Christmas Day)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cloche Damage

Yesterday, we checked on our collapsed cloche. The top was all the way to the ground! The "ribs" didn't break, just bent. We removed the ice and the plastic.
With a little pulling on the "spine" along the top, the ribs straightened out some. On a sunny day, we'll see if we can work out the kinks further. As you can see, all of the plants under it have been squished and frozen!
I'm glad to have the piles of leaves in the beds, under the snow. Hopefully, the wormies are happy with this insulation and are still busy at work (or will be as the temps warm up).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Anniversary Decoder

What? You didn't know? Now there is just the gift for the 21st year!

The Pocket Decoder Geocoin. DH's honey-do list will never be the same!

It will stay with me and check in and out of caches or events I visit.
You can follow its travels at this link.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cloche Collapse


Christmas eve morning, more snow, and maybe a little sagging going on at the cloche. (Left side, middle of the photo, above.)


In the afternoon...it proceeded to collapse! I'll investigate the damage tomorrow.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

...From Petunia, the Gardener, DH and the Critters!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Garden Snowglobe


Snow falling on Petunia's Garden, a few days ago. And there is more to come!

Remind me of these days, if I ever start complaining about rain in the winter.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowphers


We had snowphers popping out yesterday.

Some memory! A few days before, we had thrown some sunflower seeds out for the birds and squirrels. The icy topping kept the seeds from sinking into the snow. Then more snow arrived. These guys where burrowing down to the icy layer and popping up whenever they had success.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On to the Inside Garden

This is the orchid DH sister gave us in Oct. 2005. Every year, about this time, it blooms (& for a long time). I've divided it once and now both pots need divided again. I always thought orchids where finicky but this one seems quite content! Maybe it is simply who it came from. See more of Sis' special gifts in earlier posts: the Moose, the Angel and the Potholders.

It sits in our magic kitchen window. That's my grandmother's pig shaped cutting board behind it. We have spent a lot of time at this window watching those hummingbirds during these frozen days.

...And just in case we never thaw, I'm growing my own coffee trees.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting Through the Freeze

This is one of the Anna's Hummingbirds we've been seeing this winter. We've seen both a male and a female, but it hard to tell if there are more than one of each. Anna's Hummingbirds remain in this area and along the USA west coast year around. I think this is the one that spent the night in the garage, earlier this week. This was the best shot I could get through the kitchen window. Even when just sitting, they keep something moving most of the time. You can see the white Christmas lights we put on our patio last year. We can see them though the kitchen window and they added a bright spot in the dark nights. Then we decided we like them there year-round!

Here is more information on my feeder of choice, shown above.

What a week! Our temps have stayed in the teens & twenties, much colder than our usual weather. Between starting off the week with a throat infection, and ending the week staying off of the roads due to the weather, the only place I've been in 7 days is to the dr. on Tuesday! One way to slow down the usual rush of activity before Christmas!

And there is supposed to be more weather coming, including high winds and continued low temps. Winds bring down trees and power lines in this area! This motivated us to do something about our wood burning fireplace that always seemed to create a lot of smoke in the house for some reason. There is evidence that previous owners had assorted issues with it also. We've studied it before to see what we might do about it, but just thought we'd replace the whole thing at some point, for several reasons. When it works just right, it does do a good job of warming up the space.

So, remembering that Libby had recently replace the fireproof rope on her stove, DH and I took a closer look at the rope on our fireplace doors. We also looked for any other possible smoke leaks. Looked like there was indeed an opportunity for rope improvement so DH headed out for rope and glue. What a difference it has made! It isn't the only issue with the fireplace, but it significantly improved the smoke situation. If the power goes out, we'll loose the benefit of the heat blower, but it would still be better than nothing.

Visit Libby's blog to see the wonderful Christmas cakes and other activities she has been doing! Inside & Out Thanks, Libby, for spreading the warmth!

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Garden Update & Visitors

Saturday and Sunday brought snow and very cold temperatures. It also brought me a throat infection, so I didn't even look outside much until today, and then only briefly.

We have still been seeing a hummingbird on a regular basis. Anna's Hummingbirds are known to winter over in our area, though we've never noticed one. They eat bugs and sap, supplemented by feeders if they are around. DH stepped out late last night to bring the feeder inside so it wouldn't freeze. Then he noticed he had a rider! A very fluffed up bird was sitting on the feeder. It hardly moved at all. He set the feeder in the garage and and we left on a light. This morning, the bird was sitting on a suit case on a shelf by the light.

Before long, we saw another hummingbird outside. The day isn't very warm, but the sun is out so we opened the garage door. After flying around some, he finally flew out the door. We had an early visitor in March one year, but haven't noticed any this time of year before.

Chilled chard.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

December Garden

Garden photo is from Sunday, cool and rainy, and very different from the pleasant Saturday we spent trimming up a lot of the flower and herb flower stalks. Compare to the November photo. We've put the last of the mown leaves in the garden beds and have let the work to the worms for the winter.
Broccoli and lettuce in the window frame cloche.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

December Surprise

Guess lavender in December goes with the snow we had in late April this year!