Thursday, February 13, 2014

That "S" Word Happens Again

Yes, we woke up to plenty of that S stuff this morning - 12" to be shoveled.

 The first man out shoveled off the driveway and in front of one garage door. Then he took pity on the backyard birds. He got a second bird feeder out, clamped it to the first one and filled them both with sunflower seed for the little birds. All day we long we have watched the birds flock to the backyard cafe - see the cardinal on the ground under the feeder? He can't get into the feeder but he can feast on the seeds dropped on the ground when the feeder sways around. There's a mound of snow piled on the bird bath to the right of the front big tree trunk - I'm guessing the birds found water okay despite the birdbath being covered in snow.
 Then this science experiment was started to see if the vodka would freeze!
 Vodka cocktails on the deck at 5pm anyone? Check the level of the snow around the chairs.
 But it wasn't all hard work.  These neighborhood children had fun with their snowboard.
No access to the party deck this way either!
Everything got a snowcap. I wish I had written the numbers bigger on my snow measurement stick.

But, I am thankful this was only snow. I really fear ice storms that have the potential to knock out power lines. This is not the time of year to be without power. No heating in the house could result in frozen pipes which then might burst and create a flood. 

And I am thankful we are not facing flood waters like so many in England right now in the area where the Thames has burst it's banks.

And nor are we facing the very high heat that friends in Australia are dealing with - that comes with the potential for bushfire.

So, all in all, maybe the S word is not so bad after all!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's not the snow...

it's the cold of this winter that is getting to me; the sea-saw of temperatures, the icy roads, the uncertainty of whether we will get hit by the next storm. There has not really been a major snowstorm but the sheer number of days with ice, sleet, snow showers and days when the temperature has not got above freezing is doubtless responsible for many a case of cabin fever this winter.

On Wednesday morning we woke up to see what resulted from the overnight ice storm.
 Colors in winter can still provide good contrast and maybe inspiration for a quilt color scheme.
 See the small icicles on the pagoda? I keep my one azalea bush netted up all year long to protect it from browsing deer. Speaking of which I opened the front door around 9.30pm a couple of nights back and disturbed a small herd of at least six deer right in one of my front garden beds close to the house and driveway. They scattered upon hearing me but doubtless they came back and are there on many nights.
 Alas, it looks as though I will have to be replacing this once glorious rosemary bush in the spring. In 14 years I have always had a rosemary bush in this location - this is only the second one and it was particularly vibrant and well sized.
The English ivy is longing for the more agreeable English weather. This too is a plant I have had for many years - growing confined in a pot right on the black tarmac driveway it puts up with a lot but I am dubious as to whether it will come back to life in the springtime.
This scene made me think, just slightly, of Henry David Thoreau. I call it "two trees diverged in an icy wood".

On Sunday the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter. Looking on the bright side, gee, only six more weeks and we will be done with it!