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Archive for the ‘winter’ Category

And Suddenly, Winter

Last Sunday, the temperatures were in the 70s (F).  On Monday morning when I left for work, it was 52, but I brought hat, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket, because this is what was coming.

One is the Springmouse who turns on the showers.
One is the Summer who paints in the flowers.
The Fallmouse is next with walnuts and wheat.
And Winter is last… with little cold feet.

Aren’t we lucky the seasons are four?
Think of a year with one less… or one more!  —Leo Lionni

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Wintry Weather

IMG_6360This past weekend’s snow storm dropped the wet, heavy kind of snow that can break tree branches and bring down power lines.  So I was glad to see the occasional wind guests that blew big clods of snow off of the trees and lines.   We ended up with about 8 inches altogether.  Today’s bright sun has brought mini-avalanches, streams of water flowing through the street, and  beautiful scenery!

IMG_6372

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Winter Carrots

IMG_6301crop

We picked some carrots from the garden yesterday.  They are a variety called “Carnival Colors,” which is why some of them are red and yellow. They’re not very large yet– the longest one was about 7 inches and very tapered, as you can see.  But most important– they taste good!

IMG_6306After a good-sized snowfall at Christmas and more than a week of sub-freezing temperatures, it was fun to uncover the beds and have a look.  Some plants were a bit wilty (as were the tops of the carrots we picked, from the “cold” end of the carrot bed), but everything was still alive.  With sunny weather and temperatures in the 50s the next few days, everything should get a re-charge.

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Battening the hatches

Bo’s latest project is winter gardening.  Before you laugh, just consider that we lost most of our summer crops before June 1st this year, due to the extreme heat and dryness.  If it’s too hot to garden in the summer, why not try fall and winter?

However, you need to provide a way for some of the more delicate stuff to be protected from the occasional winter weather extremes.  Above is a hoop house, basically a mini-greenhouse built on a budget, with PVC pipe hoops and utility plastic sheeting.  It’s sheltering the mature tomato and bell pepper plants that were the only survivors of our hot summer garden.  Of course, they didn’t really start producing fruits that we could harvest until September.

Then there are the cold frames.  The upper one is shielding carrots and micro-greens, both young crops that were planted in the fall.  The lower one contains baby swiss chard plants.  Bo built them with used windows that he got for free from a Craigs List ad, and for the lower box, some inexpensive red wood acquired through the same venue.

Lemongrass plants on the right, dwarf Meyer lemon in the middle

Of course, there’s always the bring-it-inside solution, for the potted stuff, anyway. We’re lucky to have a sun room that hasn’t been claimed for any function other than nursing plants (although one of our houseguests commented that it would make a nice yoga room in the winter!).

Despite our 80 degree weather this week, we were promised temperatures in the 30s on Wednesday night.  So, as much of the rest of the country watched the first presidential debate, we were scurrying around in the gathering gloom and howling wind anchoring plastic sheeting, covering the herb box with agro-bond (a gauzy stuff that protects plants), and stowing everything that might otherwise blow away.  And, lo and behold, ahead of the forecast, look at the sight that greeted us on Friday morning.

We’re supposed to have low temperatures around 17 degrees tonight, but it’s supposed to be in the 60s and sunny by Monday.  Stay tuned, true believers!

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Wait five minutes

cactus in snowSince we moved to Colorado, people have been telling us that if we “don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”  While we were used to somewhat mercurial weather shifts in Oregon, I have to admit that the weather does swing rather abruptly here.   For example, on Thursday it was sunny and the high temperature was 70 degrees F, whereas today (Saturday) it’s around 32 and snowing.

We’re supposed to get up to 6 inches by tomorrow, and I hope we do.  I’ve got my cross-country skis all waxed and ready to go– up the street, to the loop around the park, and maybe even down the path to the creekside trails.  One has to be up pretty early to get to the paved bike paths before the parks department bobcat plow guy does.  He or she  seems to be awfully enthusiastic.  But maybe on a Sunday morning, the snow will stay on the paths a little longer than usual.

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Snow

note the small backpack, which holds his oxygen tank

Hooray for the next-door neighbor with the snow-blower!  I usually like to get my snow-day exercise by shoveling the walks, but the driveway is not very fun or satisfying to do.  This photo was taken yesterday morning, and now it’s snowing again.  Since the high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be 11 degrees, the new stuff should stay light and fluffy until someone gets to it…

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snowman with pumkin head

The snow storm kindly waited until after Halloween, so that the trick-or-treaters’ evening wasn’t ruined.  It did start to snow within 24 hours, though.  Enough snow came down that my whimsical side was tempted (notice how the wet snow rolled itself up like sod grass or a carpet).

ruined snow man

Help! I've fallen and I... oh never mind

However, both snow and jack-o-lanterns alike are pretty fleeting at this time of year.  This snow person only lasted an hour or so.

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