Photos taken over the past week are a record of our unsettled weather.
This was Friday at noon, warm sunshine, but a strong wind that sent dry leaves skirling along the lane and sang in my ears as I worked at clipping and pruning the sage, thyme and lavender in the small plot near the side porch steps.
Afternoon clouds moved in, churning across the sun, bringing evening rain.
Several mornings have been dark and misty.
Today a storm surged in at about 8 a.m.--thunder, lashing wind, rain that drummed on the metal roof.
Bobby Mac, who had been outside for his usual morning explorations, streaked inside and flung himself behind the laundry basket in the downstairs bathroom, his usual place of refuge during noisy storms. We called Nellie, but he didn't appear until I stood on the back porch during a lull in the downpour. He dashed out of the lean-to at the side of the shop, ran to the back door, flung himself inside, muddy-footed, tail wet and bedraggled.
At times the sun breaks through.
I was late in trimming the lavender last spring. All the plants in the herb bed have now been given a preliminary pruning. Several lavender plants suffered in the prolonged rainy heat of July and early August. I have trimmed them back severely and will watch to see if they revive. The purple sage wintered well; common sage had gotten leggy and needed the encouragement of a clipping.
Variegated vinca knows no restraint. Unfazed by winter frosts it trailed over the wall by the side steps, ran along the edge of the porch.
I trimmed it brutally--which will likely only serve to encourage more rampant growth.
Usually self-seeded violas [johnny-jump-ups] are blooming by late winter.
I have looked for them and today noticed what may be several very tiny seedlings.
Phlox "David" is alive and establishing a small clump of plantlets in the east leg of my struggling perennial border.
The clematis makes progress.
Temperatures are predicted to drop to a few degrees below the frost point before morning--I hope the clematis can deal with the abrupt change.
Water rushes through the culvert at the bend in the lane.
The seasonal brook along the lane has been running for several weeks.
The deluge this morning has caused it to overflow.
Churned up froth and a sweep of dry leaves have caught in downed limbs of the willows.
The brook originates somewhere back in the woods beyond the stable. A few hours of heavy rain bring it to rushing life, surging noisily through the pasture.
By mid-afternoon today the temperature was falling and the wind had a chilly bite.
We let the fire die down last evening. but as dusk came on the house began to seem a bit bleak.
Jim was away on an errand and I knew I would be attending a meeting at church.
I gathered an armful of twigs for kindling, added a handful of the lavender clippings --saved for such a purpose--and soon had a cheerful fire sending scented warmth into the room.
Gusts of wind buffeted the van as I drove into town, but had quieted by the time I made my careful way home on the winding road.
I did not linger on my way into the house, pausing just long enough to notice the sickle moon set like a shallow bowl in the black sky; brilliant stars, a tang of wood smoke on cool damp air; inside, light, warmth, cats stretched on the rug by the big black range.
At 11 p.m. the thermometer outside the kitchen window stands at 44 F--20 plus degrees cooler than this morning.
Perhaps the wind and rain are over for a bit and a March frost will creep in quietly.