Monday, March 2, 2015

I Feel The Need...

 The snow outside reminds me of the old  song, "I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor ... " . We are slowly approaching "Oh heck. I'm up to my neck."  I look out over the snow covered garden and I feel the need, the need to weed!  I found just what I needed. Wood sorrel, one of the weeds that I battle in the garden every year, was growing in my pot of society garlic.  I got my garden claw and nippers.  I hardly needed big tools for the tiny weeds, but it was my happiness that was the issue here.  I purposely left the gloves in my garden cart. I wanted to get my hands dirty and some dirt under my nails.

There's not a lot of dirt in the pot, but I did get my hands a little dirty and a little bit of dirt under my nails.  I also found scale on the plant.  I can't tell you the satisfaction I felt scraping those little suckers off the plant with my fingernails.  I know the house plant experts say to toss a plant that has scale, but this plant was a Mother's Day gift and I have had it for years.

I left the plant looking like this.  It thanked me by releasing its scent when I watered it. It's not an aroma I would dab behind my ears, but I loved it just the same.  I'm sure I didn't kill all the scale on this plant, but the weeds are gone. The plant is trimmed.  I don't know if the plant feels better, but I know I do.  As for the scale,  "I'll be back!"

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Farewell February

It is with absolutely no regret that we say goodbye to February 2015.  The polar jet stream controlled our weather for most of the month.  Snowfall was frequent and generous but the cold was extreme.  More than four hours outside plowing snow when the temperature was below zero came with a price.  The 100 day cough that followed removed all desire or ability to do much of anything.

Today was crisp and clear and the temperature may have climbed into the twenties.  Remembering when we enjoyed outdoor winter activity here, Amy and I dug out the snowshoes and went for a walk.  Fresh marks in the snow show our path toward the notch.  We continued to the back meadows and returned home via the lane.  On this day outdoor activity just felt fine.

We had to check on things at the arbutus wall.  Exposed to afternoon sun, trapped heat is melting the snow despite temperatures remaining below freezing.  Lumps and lines mark the maturing snow as it moves toward a liquid state.  The moisture filled crack in the long thin flat stone has frozen enough times to split the stone.  On a warmer day, I will lift off the top piece and get mankind's first look at the interior of this stone.  Fossils may be hidden there.

This leaf has just fallen from its tree.  Had it been in contact with the snow for any long period of time, it would have melted snow and fallen into the hole.  If we walk this way again soon, we will look for the progress that this leaf has made toward finding ground.  We would like to see some ground ourselves.

Our first picnic is a ways off.  Snow piles on the seat boards have reached the point where any new snow will simply roll off.  The far edges face south and show signs of melting.  Perhaps we have turned the corner.

Earlier this month, bright sunlight and pleasant temperatures lured our neighbor out to hang his sap lines.  He did not drill the tap holes but all is ready.  Light amber syrup is highly prized.  It can be made for only a short time when the sap first begins to flow.  We usually see those early runs in February but not this year.  The quality of the syrup will be determined by how quickly the warmer air moves in.  Last year the early warmth resulted in no light amber syrup.  Only medium amber or dark were available.  The taste is still great but the visual appeal is lessened.  So we watch and wait.  At some point daytime temperatures must climb above freezing and the sap will flow.