January came and went (hallelujah!) and February is flying by. We have little less than one month to go of winter and spring can’t come soon enough for me. However, winter has not been too bad so far. The last week of December and the first week of January were positively frigid, but the rest was fairly decent. We did get plenty of nuisance snow; three to four or even five inches at the time. Enough to have to shovel sidewalks and walkways, but not enough to make you ache so badly that the next day you can barely move. We also got plenty of rain when the temperatures came back up from freezing or otherwise we would have had much more snow. So this winter I count my blessings with the rain.
I keep the bird feeders filled and there is plenty of peanut butter and suet for the birds to eat. I attract a large variety of birds although I get very few cardinals to come to the feeders. In my old garden I always would have a flock of them in the winter garden, but here they are scarce. One of the trees in my garden is a Canadian Redbud (Cercis Canadensis). These trees are magnificent in early spring when all along their trunk and branches bright purple blooms appear. Last year I was disappointed with its (lack 0f) spring flowers and hoped for a grander display this year. Already in fall you can see how the little buds have developed on the branches. However, as this tree also contains a suet feeder and a hollowed out log which contains peanut butter, birds come to this tree in great numbers. Whole flocks of starlings land on the tree, partaking in the peanut butter, rubbing their beaks clean on branches and rubbing the delicate buds right off the tree. Next year I have a decision to make: flowers in spring on the Redbud or seeing my feathered friends all winter as they come to their feeders. I think the birds will win out for now.
One day last week the temperatures soared and we hit 82 degrees for a high. We enjoyed this balmy weather with a long walk outdoors and afterwards I made the rounds through the garden. Suddenly the witch hazels were a bright yellow and although their flowers are small, there are many.
Wrapped around a sorry looking dusty miller plant I spot a snake. It probably came out of hiding as the temperatures went up and when it got cooler it tried to find a hiding place. A few hours later it was gone again but I am quite sure I will come across it once more as we warm up and spring gets on its way.
For now I bide my time indoors, tending plants and the second round of cuttings which have grown into plants. The days are longer and occasionally warmer but soon enough the whole world will once more break out in bright colors. I wait for better days…