Friday, March 13, 2009

Global Weirding ...

It's snowing ... last weekend it was in the upper 80's. I don't know whether to get some lighter spring clothes out or keep the heavy winter togs in the closet. The crocus popped this week ... so did one of the apple trees in the old orchard as well as a cherry tree. Blossoms are bursting forth all over town. My sinuses are stuffed up and it's time to pull the goldenrod tincture out and take some for my spring allergies! It's way to early for all of this. I'm just not ready. Between the time change and heat last weekend, my body was freaking out! I think strange weather is and will be happening all over the globe. I'm grateful that we haven't had any severe weather so far.

Remember the family I told you about a while back whose house slid down the side of a mountain? They received good news this week. Their cat, Joey, is safe and getting sound as I write. He was found about a mile away from his former home and is healing after 2 months of living in the wild!! The local newspaper dubbed him the "miracle cat."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Yellow ...

With temperatures in the 70's on Friday and Saturday and in the 80's yesterday, some of the forsythia popped overnight. There was a bit of a hint yesterday but during the dark of night these gorgeous little blossoms decided to make their debut.

These daffodils have been blooming for several days now and as the weeks march on more and more will show their faces as the ground warms up. I have a number of different varieties that bloom early, a bit later and a lot later, keeping my spring world yellow for quite a long time.

I love the yellows of spring. The weeping willow down by the river is just beginning to turn that rich spring yellow/green ... the first tree of the season to leaf out in this garden.

Throw in some purple crocuses and I'm in spring heaven. They're being a bit poky this year, but they will appear before the daffodils finish their yearly bloom.

I spent lots of time outdoors this weekend ... started some lettuces, mustard greens and swiss chard in peat pots, hacked away at more kudzu and began cleaning out my potting shed and making an inventory of supplies I'll be needing for my veggie garden. With the economy in this terrible slump, I'm determined to grow more of my own food. With only small traces of rain so far, I'm worried about the watering situation. Even after last weeks snow, the ground is bone dry. I have 2 self watering planters that I'll be experimenting with. They have a reservoir at the bottom which holds several gallons of water. If I keep the reservoirs full, the plants are happy and I don't waste water with a hose and sprinkler. And I may not have to fill the reservoirs on a daily basis, saving a bit of toil.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Flurry ...

The "snow storm" turned into a flurry compared to what I used to experience in Vermont where I spent 20 of my younger years. We ended up with about 4 inches of snow, nothing to sneeze at if you want some moisture, but not the longed for 12 inches or so. The driveway is completely melted and the roads are fine though all of the schools in the area are closed for the day.

The wonderful surprise of the day is this gorgeous Baltimore Oriole who has been at the feeder most of the day. I think he is a bit early for the spring tea party, but he is feeding well and will be fine until the end of the week when temperatures are supposed to rise into the mid 60's again.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Too Little, Too Much ...

The birds were busy today cleaning out the feeders in preparation for what could be an uncomfortable night ahead for them.

We're having a snow storm!! The first in several years that promises to blanket us with some much needed precipitation that will hopefully melt slowly and add some much needed wetness to our groundwater coffers. When snow falls in March it's often called "White Gold" by those who depend on the weather for their livelihood, like farmers. We have been so thirsty for rain, already down almost 4 inches just since January 1st. Local climatologists are calling the problem "abnormal dryness." Why don't they want to use the word "drought?" I suppose it means we have to be down 6 or 7 inches of rain! Oh, but I shouldn't complain. This snow could really help!

On the other extreme end of rainfall, a month or so ago, friends of my daughter who live in the mountains of North Carolina, were home safe and sound asleep, when torrential rains and inadequate slope protection above their home caused a mudslide to sweep the house down the side of the mountain into a roadway below. They both survived but not without the trauma that something like this can bring on. They had recently moved from Florida where they had lost their home to the housing disaster going on all over this country, moving into a new mountain home to be near their daughter. They have lost everything in this terrible tragedy including their cat, and are now living with their daughter, Nikki, in Black Mountain, North Carolina. This is a perfect example of what too much rain can do along with inadequate laws with which to protect homes built in areas like this.

The heart warming part of this story is that the community is pulling together to help these people in need. Urged on by Nikki and my daughter, there will be a "Live to Tell," benefit concert on March 29th, at a new music venue in Black Mountain called the White Horse. This concert will "honor the strength, courage and tenacity of this family and so many others who have been touched by landslide tragedy. Proceeds from the concert will help the Donans get back on their feet and will ensure that the need for safe slope laws and education are brought to the awareness of the people of Western North Carolina."

For the whole story go to If you happen to be in the area, stop in at the White Horse in Black Mountain on March 29th for great music, delicious food and to see a community come together to help one another!