Sunday, March 9, 2014

Encouraging Weather

The first tentative glow of sunrise on Friday faded to a grey sky, then suddenly, as with a determined push, the sun shone!

The daffodils have emerged from the snow and ice appearing stunned.

By late afternoon the drive and back yard were soggy with melting snow.

A junco perches among the red buds of a maple.
I have been dismayed by the plight of the birds over the past week.
Cardinals, bluejays, sparrows and juncos have pecked about in the crusty snow in hopes of 
something to eat. 
During the January freeze I sprinkled bird seed on the ground under the magnolia tree and some on the gravel of the drive.
I had misgivings about this, but felt that the birds were needy.

The bad boy cats, aided by Willow, have brought in three dead birds--two sparrows and a junco.
I have also been presented with a never-ending supply of dead mice.
We tried to be vigilant last spring during the nesting season when we realized that several of our indoor/outdoor felines are insatiable hunters, in spite of being very well-fed.
It isn't possible to keep all of the hunters inside all of the time; sadly, cats will be cats.

Three gnarly apple trees graced the backyard when we bought our little farm in 2010.
One of them, at the edge of the yard, blew down in a gale last summer revealing a decayed stump.
We suspect the remaining two hadn't been pruned in many years as the top branches have reached the power lines that connect to the house.
[This is the first place in decades where we have lived with old overhead electrical lines.]

Although unsprayed and unpruned, one of the trees produced some flavorful apples last season.
Our pastor, a hobby orchardist, speculated that the tree is a Winesap.  He gave us some advice on pruning fruit trees.
These trees are so far over-grown that we can only hope to remove dead wood and take off some of the larger branches which cross others.

Jim is an agile person, but I was not at ease watching him clamber about with the chain saw.

I was pleading, "Do come down now!"

I moved in close enough to pull down some of the severed branches.
Tomorrow I will help to stack them to be cut for firewood.

Willis felt that he could offer advice and assistance.

I was concerned that a falling branch would land on Willis's head. 
He plopped down from the tree and contented himself with prowling about, skittering out of the way as each branch landed beneath the tree.


  1. We are also having some encouraging weather at the moment, roll on springtime. No need to worry about Willis; he still has some of his nine lives left.

  2. You weren't t he only one saying, J, get down NOW!! I hate it when men do dodgy things with chainsaws. Keith was out dropping an Ash tree at the bottom of the yard this week, and told me to keep well back. The tree fell, and I got no reply when I called him! Panic - but turns out he was right below the stream bank and couldn't hear me.

    Glad you have sudden spring too - we have borrowed some days from summer and it was SO warm yesterday. Hooray!

  3. I hope you're able to get some winesaps from the old tree. I love those apples.