1/26/12

Rain Break

George and I took advantage of the particle of sunshine that arrived this morning and went for a walkabout outside.  We dumped the old wet seed out of the bird feeders before it could go all poopy.  Poopy:  that's a scientific term meaning, "icky".  We gave the birds some new seed and the jays got a new supply of peanuts.  They were ever so grateful.  George, for his part, was just happy to be outside with me.  (I'm feeling the love.)


We surveyed the damage from the last snow.  Several years back, we tried lining our driveway with flowering plum trees, which are just about my favorite spring time flowering tree.  I took this picture of them a few years ago.

At substantial work and cost, we planted fourteen trees in all.  A few died the first year, and so we replaced them.  The following year, a few more died, and we replaced them as well.  The following year, yet another died.  We started wondering if we were fighting a losing battle, but we decided to replace that one too.  That winter, we got a particularly wet snow, and two of the trees broke off.  We thought one might survive, but then Mike backed over it with the tractor.  (Sigh.)  After that, we stopped replacing them. 

Of the original fourteen, about three are missing.  After this last snow, the two largest of the surviving trees got broken off.  I imagine a few of the remaining trees will survive, but they won't line the driveway as we had envisioned.  When you live at our elevation (and with our critters), you learn to adapt to what is possible, and give up on what isn't.

And all of that to say that yet another of our trees lost about half a dozen limbs in this last snow, which was wet and heavy.  If it weren't for the tangle of branches lying on the sidewalk and the gaping holes in the trunk of the tree, you might not notice it's missing several of its branches.  Perhaps it is adaptive for this particular tree to drop some of its limbs occasionally.  It's almost as if the branches were constructed like pop beads, and the heavy snow just popped them out of their fittings.


There isn't a whole lot to take pictures of this time of year, sun or no sun, aside from lots and lots of water droplets,


and little pine cones.  These are about the size of your thumb.

Anything that stands still has moss growing on it.

The catnip has seen better days, but that doesn't stop George from imbibing.


He's always on red alert for the bobcat.

The strawberries are continuing their quest to cover every surface of the patio area.  They are amazingly hardy.  They don't seem to require any soil . . . just a flat surface on which to grow.

And look at this!  The tulips are coming up!

I can never remember the name of this plant, but it is probably the showiest shrub in the garden.  In a few weeks, it will open into cascades of tiny white flowers, and its foliage will turn bright red.

By and by the clouds took over the sky and the sun disappeared.  George and I decided to go in.

As I sat down to write this post, the rain returned.  Our weather is supposed to improve tomorrow and through the weekend.  One can only hope.

Tomorrow I am attending the Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon.

There will be something around 190 quilts on display.  I went to this show in 2010, and I saw the most amazing quilts.  I'll be posting any pictures I take, so be on the lookout for those in the next few days.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sarah said...

When I first started reading your post I expected you to say the flowering plum was currently in bloom! I know our abnormally warm weather started some plants/bulbs to pop up last month and they shouldn't be surfacing until April or May at the earliest. I heard somewhere that the DC cherry trees were blossoming but never verified it. Weird Weird Weird.

Diane Wild said...

It's 41 degrees in Minnesota today. We barely have any snow to speak of on the ground but are expecting 2-3 inches tomorrow. We'll see. Ditto the weird.

WoolenSails said...

Wonderful close ups and it is the simple things in nature that are the most beautiful.

Debbie

Vicki W said...

These are beautiful photos! I wonder if you might let me use the 11th one (with the new growth) to play with a possible color palette?

Denise :) said...

Weather has been crazy over the past year or so ... I'm *so* tired of rain! Weren't you covered in snow not so long ago?! :)

Kate said...

Hope you get your good weather this weekend. Thanks for including us on the walk, it was a nice one. Enjoy the quilt show. Can't wait to see your pictures, take lots!

Teresa in Music City said...

Lovely pictures Barbara!! Makes me wistful for spring to come quickly! We lost a flowering plum this year too, but we cannot find any reason for it. It's twin, about 10 feet away, is just fine, but this one just withered and died. We'll probably plant another this spring and hope all goes well with it. George certainly seems to have enjoyed his outdoor visit!

Jake said...

Love your photos!! So lucky to have spring showing up!!