Thursday, March 2, 2017

Restless Weather

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.


  1. "Perhaps the wind and rain are over for a bit and a March frost will creep in quietly." As it did here, frozen lawn and sunshine a welcome break. My hens flatten some of my herbs which is annoying, but it is good to see the flowers returning after the winter break.

    1. Thelma; 2017 marks our 6th winter in Kentucky. The quirks of weather still surprise us--anything from a foot or more of snow in one storm [2015, 2016] to an 'open winter' with balmy temps--and everything in between.
      No hens here, but the outdoor cats are rough on new seedlings.

  2. Our weather has been all over the place too. At present it is back to snow, which we prefer to the mud season. How you describe the moon is so poetical!


    1. Jane; Our recent weather has seen rather dramatic temperature changes within a 24 hour span--keeping a fire or letting it die out is a daily decision this past week.

  3. Our weather jumps between early spring weather, in the 60's and late spring weather, in the 80's. We've had no winter weather at all. I'm sure the bugs will be awful this year.

    1. Janet; We've not had days in the 80's, although high 70's prevailed for nearly a week. The bugs--oh, don't remind me!

  4. We had half a gale blowing on Wednesday night, then beautiful SPRING sunshine yesterday - today we are back to persistent rain!

    1. Jennie; We are already into the season when the south-central USA can experience tornadoes-- and the fluctuating temperatures make us at least mildly uneasy. Strangely, many buildings in the area don't seem to have been constructed to deal with even the winds of a 'normal' storm--we often drive by a recently flattened barn or shed.

  5. Our weather,like yours, has been decidedly unpredictable. On Tuesday and Wednesday we had temps in the high sixties and I spent a few hours on both days working in the perennial garden. Somehow the fall cleanup never materialized; it has now been completed...better late than never. I was astonished at the number of tiny green shoots in evidence. Undoubtedly they will be thoroughly frosted as our temps are now back to some semblance of normal. I did notice that the hot pink buds on the Red Maples are ready to burst at the first opportunity. Our planet is a changing.

    1. Mundi; The budding of the sugar maples in New England is a beautiful time--whole hillsides wearing that deep pink glow. Not good news for the syrup makers!
      There always seems to be more cleanup in the perennial strips come spring. In Vermont I wanted to clear away dead stalks and debris on the first warm days, but figured it was wiser to keep some leafy cover in place until April.