Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rain shadow

I've had the suspicion these many years that we are living in a rain shadow. Often when I drive a few miles south, it starts pouring. That doesn't make sense though, we get a lot of snow, is a mystery. Maybe the snow makes it over the mountain, but the rain gets stuck. Lo and behold, it has just started snowing out my window.

I went outside to check it out, and look at what I found.

They're back. Thanks for the tip, K.

I did drag out the hoses this morning and water. So it should pour with rain now. But just a flurry of snow so far. Nothing has sprouted in the box, it's been about a week.

The flower poll is over and it's a tie between lavender and freesia. I voted honeysuckle, for sentimental reasons. My second choice would have to be freesia, or any of the others...I admit, it was an unfair question. Also, I forgot lilac (one thing we can actually grow here), and jasmine. Anyway, thanks for voting! On to the next poll...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


47 degrees, 12:30 pm. It was supposed to rain yesterday and today, but so far only a light sprinkle has arrived. If it continues like this I'll have to get the hoses out and start watering. The wind is drying everything.
Only 10 days after I took the picture of the emerging daffodils, they are blooming.
So is our little wildflower, the Avalanche Lily.
I transplanted some of the flower starts this morning. Somebody put a lot of Tidy Tips seeds in each peat pot (you know who you are). No one had the heart to thin them. The Black-eyed Susan Vine was planted thickly too. The grow light isn't big enough for all these.
I just stepped outside and found a dead mouse on the welcome mat. Thank you Rusty, but no thank you. He sauntered off, I guess he's full.

There's a long list of things to do this year. I have some ideas. Most of them involve J doing hard work. Like fence building, etc. For starters, there's a problem in the driveway garden. I planted grass seed in it, and now it has taken over.Mild mannered in a lawn, the stuff is unstoppable in the garden and is choking out everything else. It's nearly impossible to pull, so J will have to rototill it. Then there's the problem of the pasture grass I planted all over the bullodozed areas, to combat a knapweed invasion. It's not a very pretty grass, and although it has supplanted the knapweed, it may be death to young trees trying to reforest the area. The only remedy I can come up with is a grass eater, but what kind? Do goats eat grass, or do they just eat rose bushes?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Finally a warm day

This is our house.
It was really nice this weekend, 60s in the shade, much warmer in the sun. All the birds were shopping for houses. The W. bluebirds were competing with Tree swallows and other W. bluebirds for this house. Even a Mountain bluebird was checking it out.

Someone else was enjoying the weather too.

It may be too early to plant flowers, but I did anyway.

Calendula Cosmos SunflowerI planted these, plus forget-me-nots, poppies and gaillardia.

We started some flowers and vegetables inside, and now I'm hardening them off. J's plant light set up worked very well. It's adjustable so the light can be raised when the plants get bigger. These seedlings are the least spindly I have ever raised indoors. The lights are these new skinny fluorescents that save energy.
The garden is ready to be worked in. If only I were ready to work.

K reported a hummingbird sighting today, so I'm putting up the feeder. It's 60 degrees (in the shade), and warm and sunny, despite the forecasted rain. I'm out of birdseed, and the birds have gone elsewhere.

Friday, April 25, 2008

First flower

The crocuses are blooming. The lupines were planted from seed a couple of years ago, it looks like they're finally established.

The path is still under snow.
It looked like this in winter, after shovelling the roof. We couldn't get firewood to the porch without climbing over hill and dale.

Here's how the cats have fun in winter.

Now Rusty is getting serious about hunting. He's in stealth mode, watching Mr. and Mrs. Finch.
They knew he was there.
It's 50 degrees.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Snowy morning

It looked like January this morning.

That's the bluebird's nest box, by the tree. We put it on a metal pole this time, to keep the cats away. The birds have been looking at it, but so far no takers. The other one we put up in the trees has chickadees in it. The sunflower eaters don't seem to mind the weather, but the insect eaters are not as happy.

We had a lot more snow than usual this winter. The shed didn't survive.




It was kind of an eyesore, so I'm not too upset. J took it down last weekend. Yes, it looks even worse now, but it'll get better. The back part was built by J and J, and it stood up to the snow, unlike the Sears portion. It'll be perfect for a small goat or other furry lawn mower. Maybe that will be better and easier than chickens. I'm still enjoying the "leavings" they made though. You can't beat free fertilizer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still cold

It's Earth Day! April 22, 2008

It's 48 degrees, and that's warm, compared to yesterday. Today I went to the lake and there was still ice covering much of it.

I planted the box yesterday in an icy wind. It started to hail, so I went inside, and the sun came out. I managed to finish up right before a snow storm came through (the wire thing is an animal deterrent). I planted peas, lettuce, carrots, arugula, spinach, corn salad, and bak choi, we'll see what happens.

The lavender looks pretty good, considering it was under several feet of snow, and may have been stepped on...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Signs of spring

April 17, 2008

The snow is receding and temperatures are in the 40s and 50s.
The weather forecast calls for more snow this weekend.
Kiki the cat is tired of snow.

But...there are signs of spring:

Grass is getting greener.

Daffodils are coming up.

Willows are starting to bloom.

Bird sightings:

We have Chickadees in one of the nest boxes. The Bluebirds seem to have left. (We may have put too many boxes up). We've also seen Crossbills, Juncos, Robins, Sparrows, Finches, Tree Swallows, Goldfinches and a Rufous-sided Towhee.