Saturday, December 31, 2011
Our last day of 2011 was warm enough to allow garden work while in shirtsleeves. Granted they are insulated shirtsleeves but this is the end of December. Autumn Joy sedum are getting cut back for the winter. New growth is normal and it looks promising. The weeds get to stay since the ground shaded by the sedum remains frozen. Still we had a chance to complete this one job ahead of the arrival of winter.
Winter has our pond firmly in its grip. Daylong shade from the wooded ridge blocks sunlight from warming this area. That one step from the bright sunlight into the seasonal shade is like walking into a refrigerator. The temperature difference will be noticeable all winter. Cold seasonal stability characterizes this area. Plants here will be the last to break dormancy.
Some animal had what must have been a scary walk across the newly forming ice. Its path was continuous to shore so a cold dunking was avoided. My luck has held there also. For reasons completely lacking all reason or logic, I always have to step onto the ice to see if it will support me. So far that move has never been early but I know that cold wet feet are in my future.
Another clump of trees have been thrown by the wind. Come spring some of this muck will be shoveled out of the pond and readied for use in the garden. Its fine grain will improve moisture retention in our sandy soil. Muck must be nutrient rich it is so dark in color.
On the last day of this year we had a chance to work in the garden this morning. That made the day a great one. Afternoon clouds brought a seasonal chill and we are now indoors. More marks will appear in the seed catalog as we move toward 2012.