Monday, March 16, 2015
Warmth from the strengthening sun has finally revealed the top of the stone wall built near the town road. Black road sand stains on the surface of the snow marks the limits of our snow blower's range. Road sand mixed with snow creates a dirty appearance but the dark color will speed melting. Still, there is hope. Perennial flax is the first plant visible above the snow. Deep snow cover may have helped clear frost from the ground by now and we would really like to see how this plant and its daughters handled winter. An arc of summer sweet bushes are visible near the far end of the wall. Clethera prefers a warmer climate so this may be a year without those sweet summer flowers. Autumn joy sedum seed heads rise along the property line. We will surely find new growth there when the snow finally clears.
Periwinkle peeks out near the wall at the top of the long driveway hill. It is rugged enough to expand in size despite the pasture grass and briers that also grow here. Our original piece of this plant was a gift from a fellow worker that needed a little help clearing the ground stump remains from her yard. Many of our plants provide a connection with people from our past and trigger pleasant memories.
Enduring deep snow cover has confined our walks to the driveway. We saw a chipmunk peek out of the snow that covers a stone wall. The many voids in this wall provide spacious quarters for these squatters. Seeds from the giant cherry tree nearby are stored in the wall. There is no question about exactly how these creatures spent the winter. The pictured tunnel is recent. Perhaps the chipmunks also desperately needed a walk in the sunshine.
This foolishness illustrates just how desperately I need to see some green plants. Snow covering the arbutus cage was delicately shoveled away to the level of the cage top. This might allow for a safe early view of the plants still covered with snow. It might also entice salad starved chipmunks or deer mice to dine on early greens. I will stand watch but for only part of the day. Hope that this shoveling was not a mistake.