Archive for the ‘seasons’ Category

The pumpkins on the kitchen counter attest to our first hard freeze of Fall. Last night our temperatures here at the farm saw us in the low 20s F. And this morning saw the first ice formed on the waterers for the sheep. Oi! I hope we get Fall back again before winter gets here in earnest.

I also remembered a few plants we still had out on the decks at about 10 o’clock last night. I thought I would try to winter over the rosemary (above) and the miniature rose (below). The rosemary was placed on a metal chair in the sunroom and the rose, poor thing, was uncereamoniously scooped up with its pot in a barn bucket then placed on top of “stuff” I had on the glass top table in the sunroom. I hadn’t planned on bringing in plants just yet, but I always check The Weather Channel before I head for bed. There it was in big bold letter for our area exclusively: HARD FREEZE WARNING!

I now feel vindicated for putting the electric blanket on the bed this last week. I just had a feeling that we needed more than the wool blanket. I was so glad I did too.
As I wasn’t sleeping well and the cats kept yowling at me around midnight, I got up and went out in the living room for a bit to see if they would settle down. When I came back to bed I saw my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits curled up as if he was freezing. I looked over and saw that yes, his blanket was “on”. I knew his feet must’ve been cold (mine were!) so I grabbed a quilt and doubled it up over our feet for the night. By morning I had a nice little World of Warmth created for myself and I really didn’t want to come out from under to face the morning.
And if it weren’t for the smell of fresh coffee, I might have stayed longer. The heater hadn’t kicked on, but I had three cats curled up in my lap as I drank my first cup. Three Dog Nights just don’t compare to Three Cat Mornings…

*Note: Yes, Michelle – pumpkins and squash will ripen if you keep them in a dry place, elevated off the floor a bit. I use old worn out drainers for dishes from the kitchen as they elevate the pumpkins and let air circulate beneath. This since I don’t have a root cellar. 🙂

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Easter Flowers

I thought I would share a couple of the more cheerful, colorful aspects of this past weekend holiday with you.

This first picture is of a Christmas Cactus I have had for years. I should name it “Old Faithful” as it begins to bloom around Halloween continuing up to and usually through Easter. I had been worried about it as most of my plants suffered during my stay in the hospital last June and afterward. Poor guys. I feel like this plant came through just to let me know that they all hung in there for me. Now if the orchids will get off their (ahem!) backsides and follow suit!
Next we have a lovely bunch of Daffodils. While friends like Tina and Michelle have had many things bloom at their places, I have had to console myself with bought daffodils from a local grocery store. The nice thing about these is they have a wonderful fragrance. And a bonus is that none of the cats seem to want to munch on them.

We have also had quite a few active birds around. I’ve been waiting for the Western Bluebirds to start moving through – a sure sign of impending spring here in the mountains, but have had to “make do” with Mr. House Finch singing his beautiful little heart out trying to impress the Mrs. He’s been here for a number of years (or maybe his son?) and every morning will sit by the kitchen door, serenading me with his beautiful renditions. As summer comes closer, his feathers will become much brighter in color. Sometimes, Bran will sit on a nearby telephone pole and try singing base along with the finches song. But he just can’t cut the mustard like Mr. H. Finch!

That’s OK, Bran…I’ll still talk to just you down at the barn. I’m ready for another lesson in Raven. Are you ready to teach one?

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