Thursday, February 13, 2020

After Snow

Photos taken and saved for a blog post on Saturday, 8 February.  Since this has been the only sunny day in another stretch of darkness and drizzle, it seems good to record the event however belatedly.

A curving cornice of ice seen through the bathroom window.

The sun had broken through by the time I pulled on boots and my warmest old jacket to venture on a walk-about.
Heads of dwarf sunflower still contain seeds; later I noticed a bluebird perched on a stem, picking out the nourishing morsels. 

A few unharvested cabbages huddled under a coating of snow.

Snow clinging to clustered seed pods of a redbud tree at the edge of the wooded ravine.

Robert aka Bobby Mac, insists on going out in all weather. He bounced through the snow, keeping me company.

'Jane' magnolia planted by former owners near the house that burned several years before we acquired the property.

By noon the snow was melting.  I nudged these acorns into a heap, the better to admire their colors.

Looking east up the lane from the lower edge of the property;  the two camper trailers which last winter housed us and our son [with his dogs!] were parked in the cluster of trees to the right of the shed. Our new house is sited on a bit of a knoll visible up the lane. 
The snug house is a delight!

Rain returned with a fury on Sunday and has been with us through the week, sometimes a mere cold drizzle, but often pouring down in force driven by gusty wind.
Forays into the weather to tend the cat litter box or take out kitchen trash have been a matter of watching for the rain to let up, then dashing out,  returning to the warmth of the house wind-blown, chilled and damp.

During this house-bound time I edited and printed the pages of a family research project ready to mail to a friend.
I moved a few files-in-progress to my laptop and set about dismantling my trusty old Windows 7 PC which has chugged along a month past the cut-off date for support.
I appreciate having the laptop, but it isn't what I'm comfortable with for daily use. 

The ever helpful man at the computer shop steered me to what he calls an 'intermediate' model, Windows 10----what I would call a 'hybrid' design.
The workings are contained in a large 'screen,' but there is a separate keyboard which sits in the pull-out tray of my desk.  This is far more comfortable than typing on the laptop keyboard.

Thomas, who refers to himself as 'the computer geek' transferred my files from the old to the new PC at half the usual fee!
I've had to collect, and in some cases change, passwords, make a few changes to personalize the unit.  I'm not happy with the arrangement of photos but have conceded I will figure this out later.  I will!

There will be no excuse for a heaped and untidy desk; the PC 'tower' and monitor, the squatty pair of speakers, gone!

The  weather promises temperatures tonight in the high teens, so I have lugged the large rosemary and the languishing lemon verbena back to the house, along with the recently potted and thus far slumbering amaryllis bulbs.
I spread a burlap sack over the trays planted to seeds. I noted that in spite of cool damp days in the greenhouse the broccoli seeds are sprouting.
It may be that when warmth and sunlight favor us some of the other seeds will germinate--perhaps not, as they were packets from other years.

Three of the four clumps of roots scrabbled from the edges of the lemon balm have settled in and unfolded tentative leaves, so there is the promise of  new plants.
Eventually spring and gardening time will come round as they always have done.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Winter For A Day

Jim was mumbling about the weather forecast last evening, but I was still surprised to note the pre-dawn  white-out seeping through the window blinds.
I've been no farther than the back porch, taking out morning kibble for Willis and Sally.
Jim has trudged out and back in several times, sweeping the front steps, getting in firewood.

I was trying to talk myself into pulling on my wellies and checking the temp in the greenhouse.  My only real concern there is the big rosemary and the lemon verbena which I pruned heavily before taking it out last week.
The sophisticated digital 'weather station'--an appreciated gift from Howard and Dawn--notes the outside temp standing fast at 28F. 
Jim looked in on the greenhouse and returned to assure me that the thermometer in there is holding at 10 degrees higher than outside.

We welcomed two beautiful sunny days earlier in the week after a spell of fitful drizzle.
Skies at mid-day were bright blue, a flock of robins bounced over the grizzled grass of the field.
I popped out to the greenhouse to tuck a few broccoli seeds into a plastic starter cell, trudged down to the bottom of the lane to assess the fuzzy buds still tightly closed on the 'Jane" magnolia. I've noted tiny leaves on the pruned back roses--and then scuttled back indoors as the wind was sharp.

 Willis and Robert communing on the west retaining wall. 
Note the thriving little plants of 'pinks' which are flourishing at the edge of the wall.
I managed to salvage only a baker's dozen of tiny seedlings from the many which germinated.
They seem to have settled in to grow in cold weather.

Brothers, Robert and Nellie, sharing the rustic bench on the front porch.
Foxgloves grown from seed last season have remained green, in spite of going into the ground  near the McGyver fence in late autumn--after we finally had rain.

Mr. Clancy, since his rescue from the courthouse parking lot, has been an indoor cat.
He moped about for 24 hours after his necessary 'alternation'--but quickly reverted to his busy mischievous self.
[His ear was cropped when we found him; I wonder how that happened.]

The view this morning from the back porch a bit before 8 a.m.

Wet snow is heavy on power lines and tree branches.  Area schools, already closed due to wide-spread illnesses, have hunkered down for a snow day.  Most county offices are closed as well.

The view across the lane into the south ravine.

Jim alerted me to the presence of robins by the dozens--maybe even by the hundreds--picking at the gravel beneath the slowly melting snow of the lane.

I would like to feed birds through the winter--they are a delight to watch--but it would be unkind to lure them within range of our predatory felines.

I continue to work on family research for a friend, and have two more genealogy projects I hope to finish this month--in-so-far as a family research project can be considered complete.

I'm still using my Windows 7 desktop PC--a month past its cut-off date for support.
The self-styled 'geek' at the local computer shop built it for me about 6 years ago.  He thinks he likely left room for an upgrade to Windows 10.
I need to transfer some files in progress to my laptop, others to flash drives, and ask him to remove photos and such to an external hard drive to be restored to the updated unit.

I have a new book!  It arrived in yesterday's mail and I have several others on order.
I'm not allowing myself even a glimpse at the pages until I've wrapped the current project.
I read too fast--but there it is--a trait that is beyond my control!