Sunday, February 22, 2015
Fine February Day
Daytime temperatures rocketed into the twenties F today. Overnight snowfall needed to be cleared from the driveway and we had committed to having the professional do that work based on the weather forecast. As has been the case, we once again received less snow than the amount expected. Sunlight strong enough to melt snow pulled me outside. The ill effects of earlier time spent outside when the temperature was close to zero had kept me house bound for days.
All of the marks on the snow that had fallen on the walls were made by mother nature. Frigid winds from the south sculpted depressions in the vertical edge of the fallen snow yesterday. A fair amount of snow covered the path. Nearly cloudless skies combined with light from a northward moving sun made it pleasant to be outside.
Today offered us the first glimpse of the gravel surface of the driveway in weeks. My habit has been to scrape the snow away after every snowfall. When sunlight falls on the bits of exposed dark gravel, melting clears the lane despite below freezing air temperatures. Recently, ever present insignificant over night snowfalls were driven on creating a white reflective slippery surface. The plow pro finished his work with a coating of sand. Dark sand trapped heat from the sun and the surface of our road is beginning to show. Cold temperatures will return overnight and remain with us for the coming week. The dark areas should grow if the sun shines despite the cold.
My lawn tractor was able to push back the ridges of plowed snow. We worked across the drive with the plow set to push straight ahead. That involves a lot of back and forth with frequent raising and lowering of the blade but a space is created to receive the next snowfall.
We have neither seen nor heard birds during the cold spell. Today the crows flying about and their piercing caws actually seemed cheerful. The red sumac seed clusters provide food for the smaller birds. A chickadee is taking a meal in the photo but he is invisible.
Today gave us an all important glimpse of what is in store for us soon. A few hours out in the fresh air and sunshine improved our moods greatly. We were even able to endure the temporary disappearance of the blog. When you lose something you care about even for a short time, you find out how much it means to you. Plants and Stones has become an important record of our time here at the Stone Wall Garden!