Friday, January 25, 2008


Does this look as cold as it felt? We got a thin layer of freezing rain, then about a half inch of snow. I took this picture just at sunset, tho the shots without the flash were just too fuzzy, the flash made it seem much darker than it really was. Poor Buddha! He looks frozen, doesn't he?

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Yesterday morning, it started to snow. Every once in a while it turned to rain, but then it was back to snow. The TV stations to the South, from whence cometh our storms, said we would get about 4 inches. The Northern stations said 1 to 3. Last year the meteorologist at the Salisbury station said we might get a dusting and we got 6 inches, so I never pay him any mind… don’t like him anyway, much. Anyhow, here are a few pics from early this morning… This is the camellia which was in an earlier blog and is almost up to the top of the roof. Today it is bowed over with the weight of the snow. Likewise the Nandina. Wouldn’t want to be sitting on this chair today. St Fwankie and the Buddhas are wrapped in snow blankets. Even Punk turned tail on me and headed back to the warmth of the carport. Only the birds seemed to be enjoying themselves. Geez! I just filled that thistle seed sock yesterday! Guess I need to put the boots back on. Enjoy your snow! Oh, and click on the pics and they will be bigger - you can even see the birds on the feeders if you do that!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


My neighbor mentioned the other day that he had almost no goldfinches this year. I told him they are all over here...

Finches? What finches????

Sorry the picture quality is so bad... not the dirt on the window.... reflections.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


We got a bit of snow yesterday afternoon… it is all but gone this morning, just a tiny patch here or there. The temperature hovers near freezing. As I looked out the window while doing the breakfast dishes, I noticed the water had frozen in the ground level birdbath next to St Francis. I had to smile as I remembered a neighbor’s granddaughter and her first Christmas this far north. She had never seen snow before nor had she ever seen ice in a birdbath. Not just any ice, mind you, but that special kind of ice she called shivered ice, the kind of ice that still shows all the ridges and lines the water makes as it freezes, like thick frost on a window.
The child’s name was Sheila, but, like so many other names, she chose to change it after she heard of the Queen of Sheba in Sunday school. She decided that was what her parents had really meant to call her but somehow had gotten it wrong, so, from that day forward, she was Sheba. Sometimes Queen Sheba, even Her Majesty, when she heard that one! Aren’t little kids just too precious! Sheila-Sheba was not in school yet and still spoke with a baby voice and delightfully mispronounced words, especially Ws for Rs.
I am not sure the exact order of this next part, but she had an uncle, Frank, whose real name was Francis. She also had a grandmother Frances, and found it confusing that they should have the same name. She decided Frank’s parents thought he was a girl when he was born, so he was named after his mother, but when they discovered he was a boy, they changed his name to Fwank, er, I mean, Frank.
When she came here to visit, her local family would often take her for walks down our road to still another uncle’s house and Sheba fell in love with my yard with all its pathways thru the woods, the birdfeeders, and various critters lurking around the barns and bushes. Then, too, there is Punkin, the official greeter, who talks to everyone and rolls over in front of them so they will admire his beautiful belly, and (S)Pook who keeps watch from a safe distance. So she often took what she called the long cut (well, why not?) to her uncle’s house by detouring through my yard and checking out all the pathways. She loved my Buddha, but her favorite was St Fwank. She struggled with why his parents hadn’t changed his name when they found out he was a boy and why was he wearing a bathrobe out in my yard? But she loved the fact that the birds came to sit on his shoulders and in his hands.
When she was here at Christmas, she noticed the water was slightly frozen in St Fwank’s birdbath. She said it looked like St Fwankie had been so cold, he shivered so hard, the water froze while he was shivering, and she begged her mother to take her down to “Woses” (Roses) to get him a jacket. They brought him a towel and wrapped him nicely so he would make it thru the next cold night.
I am sorry Sheba was not here yesterday when it snowed, not that it was deep, but it was pretty for a while, especially on the camellias which still look pretty good today. St Fwankie looks a bit chilly, however. Think I should move him into the greenhouse at night?????

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We have just had a delightful little snow! Big excitement for us! A couple of birds decided to take refuge from the wind and snow. See the feeder on the left? This fellow stayed here about 10 minutes. The house finch is still there, 25 minutes later!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


but I thought I would share a few moments from the last few days with you...
Today it just made it into the mid 50s. Well, almost... Is 53.7 amost the mid 50s? Or am I being an optimist??? Whatever. It is supposed to be in the 40s for the next week, which is seasonable. So I guess the window will be closed. Ratty (the Rascal) does love to birdwatch. They are so close they can smell each other's breath! I guess the chickadee must have a lot of faith in the screen. Brave boy! Punkin enjoyed sunbathing. He followed me all around the yard as I looked to see what was blooming and what wasn't. This shows the damage the temps in the teens the previous week did to Debutante. The red camellias have come back out. It is hard to believe they had this many blooms before the cold, but if you look closely, there are loads of brown frozen blooms there. I picked a few of these to put on the table. We are supposed to drop back into the 20s at night again for a week or so. Do you see how big this bush has gotten???? Geez! While I was out near the edge of the woods checking out the camellias, I noticed this tree... see it just left of center? The top blew off a couple of years ago, Ernesto? A Nor'easter? I have no idea, but the tree has grown new branches up at the top. Strange, huh?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


First let me say thank you for all the emails asking if I am OK… I am, sort of… at least I am walking again, mostly withOUT the cane at the moment. I even got on the tractor yesterday and rode around the place grinding up the leaves that have been driving me nuts for the last month. I managed to fill all the bird feeders a couple of days ago, and I thought of Rachael who said she would do them for me if she only lived closer. I am sure she would have, too. Some people are so sweet!
I don’t know what its like where you are, but it was one beautiful day here! I turned off my “heating” system (LOL!) in my greenhouse so I don’t cook my geraniums or impatiens. Euwww. See them? They are still blooming! Oh, that is a drop light in a bucket – my heating system – sitting on a few bricks. It is plugged into one of those outdoor Christmas timers, generally set on dusk to dawn, that keeps things toasty in there on the cold nights. Actually, last week when it went down into the teens (YES! IT DID!) I left the light on 24 hours a day. The coldest corner of the greenhouse was 45 degrees. Not bad for a bunch of bricks, a 60 watt bulb and a 10 gallon bucket is it? This is one of my brighter ideas. Sorry.
Monday it hit 72 degrees. January 7th! The peepers are peeping, the buds are coming out on things. Even the daffodils are coming up. I celebrated being able to walk by taking the leaf blower out to clean up the carport and also blew some of the leaves away next to the carport, and there they were! Daffodils coming up! The daffodils have been up out front by the cactus for a couple of weeks. They are the real old variety of long skinny leaves and tiny yellow flowers – super fragrant!
My plan (if I am still walking tomorrow) is to move these digitalis from in front of this shed to the front yard. I had to put this old lawn chair out there so no one would walk on them since they are right in front of the door. Needless to say, I did not put the seeds there. I guess God must have dropped some seeds and not noticed while on the way to a better place. Or maybe He was just testing me to see if I knew what they were before I ran the John Deere over them. About 6 feet away from the corner of that shed, a big branch came down during the 50 mph winds we had last week. It has a diameter of about 7 inches, and hit the ground with so much force I cannot get it out. I am waiting for my neighbor to find a minute and bring his chain saw over and cut it up so I can get it out of here. Can you imagine if it had hit the roof of the shed?????
The hardest part is pacing myself. I am so excited to be able to be outdoors and walking, I want to do everything NOW! But then, things happen to slow me down. For some reason today I noticed a couple of birds flying high up over the house, riding the wind currents, just “laying on the air” as my old auntie used to say. Being out in the country, we have a lot of buzzards, so I almost didn’t pay them any mind – but something was different. So, I stopped working and sat there and looked and watched. They cruised a bit closer. That buzzard’s head was white! Well, what do you know? A pair of bald eagles! I hope they come back to nest out here. We had a nesting pair back before we had to have our pine trees cut down because of pine bark beetle. I got the men to leave the tree they were nesting in, but after the other trees were cut down the eagle tree blew over. Anyway, I was excited to see them!
All in all it has been an exciting day. I was able to do some yard work, I heard the peepers, I mowed the leaves out front, I saw 2 eagles, and my tickets came today to go to study with the Dalai Lama this summer! Life is good.