Perhaps it rained overnight. Morning on the second day of 2011 brought winds from the south. A misty morning was followed by beautiful blue skies with a thin white rippled layer of clouds. Ed couldn't wait to get outside. The beds in front of the house were a good place to begin. The winter sun, and its reflection off the white house made this soil more likely to have thawed. Weed removal becomes a possibility.
Some of the weed's root masses were stuck in the frozen soil others released their roots easily. Self seeded Nicotiana was the dominant dead plant in this allium bed. It is a personal favorite, and it filled the bed with scented flowers when the alliums were past. More complete weeding here will wait for spring.
Chrysanthemums need to be loosely mulched after the ground freezes. Snowfall preceded frozen ground so the mulching waited for today. Here Clara Curtis mums show good new growth. In the three years that they have grown in our garden a single plant has produced multiple clumps. We would prefer that they continue to prosper here.
Spent growth from this year has been placed over the new growth. With any luck snow cover will return and carry these plants safely to spring.
The afternoon was spent cutting trees and brush under the electric wires. For some reason I looked skyward as I was gathering my tools. Silhouettes of two large birds circling above the pines disappeared from my view. Moving away from the trees I caught another glimpse of the birds. Wide flat wings suggested eagles. When they cleared the trees again I saw white heads. One bird was visibly larger than the other so I think that I saw a pair of mature bald eagles. They were flying close to each other their wingtips almost touching. One would dip under the other and fly on the opposite side. After several effortless circles the eagles flew up river side by side. Breeding season will soon be at hand and I would like to believe that I saw a mated pair of bald eagles enjoying a free day before the rigors of raising the next generation fill their days.