AND THE BEAUTIFUL… We had our first serious frost this morning. It really was pretty, but it has done a number on some of the cold sensitive plants, namely the Strobilanthes and coleus. I think I have all the impatiens in the greenhouse.
So, while Hadji was asleep in my chair, (he sleeps with his eyes opened - creepy!)I grabbed the camera and jacket and headed out back. The azaleas got kissed by Mr. Frost, and tho they can usually take a bit of frost, I think this will finish the red and magenta ones.
The Beauty Berry bush… My new roof on my newly rebuilt lean-to got a good covering of frost. If anyone was hunkered down inside, I hope they were warm. It is built with openings so the possums can get in and out.
In answer to several questions about “shatters” – the pine trees shed their old needles, just not all at one time. The pines we have here are long needle pines, the ones in my yard that have come up by themselves have 8 inch needles. A nice pile of shatters makes a pretty mulch, and yes, it makes the soil acidic. However, camellias and azaleas LOVE acidy soil and that is why they do so well here. In the spring, potato farmers bring in tons and tons of lime to ‘sweeten” the soil before planting their potatoes.
I have also been asked how big camellias and azaleas are. Well, it all depends on the plant. Ice Angel (taken a couple days ago) is a big flower, whereas Yule Tide is not much more than 2 1/2 inches across. These azaleas are about 3 inches across.
I found this little late bloomer the other day, too. It is next to the Persian Shield. The temps that day were in the low 60s. This morning's temp was 30!
And the ugly… it is the time of year when the tomato farmers down the road from me burn their crops. The noise of the gas jets is horrendous, to say nothing of the stench.If you look carefully, you will see that the bushes are still covered with tomatoes. Each year millions of pounds of tomatoes are poisoned then burned so they can quickly be gotten rid of and the field made ready for the next crop. Currently winter wheat is up about 6 inches. Soy beans are being harvested. So the air is filled with the roar of farm equipment and the stench of burned tomatoes and soy dust.
If you notice the size of that tractor, it just barely fits on my road, taking up BOTH lanes. As it is, it does hit the trees and bushes along side the road. For a little over 1/10th of a mile (my land) there is NO place for anyone to get by. You have to back up until you get to someone's driveway and pull off the road for the equipment to get by. DAILY, some idiot sees the huge farm monsters coming down the road and they keep coming toward them instead of pulling over where there is a driveway. What do they think the tractor is going to do? Sometimes the tractor stops and waits and the idiot in the car stops and waits, each in the middle of our little narrow road. It is so stupid! Then traffic starts to build up on either side waiting for the cars to back up and let the equipment thru. The driver of the car that started the mess is invaribly under 30, was probably talking on the phone, maybe texting, and when they then do back up and pull off the road, they scream at the tractor driver about his Oedipus tendencies. Like he can hear them. Duh.