Friday, February 29, 2008

Leaping Day

Yipeeee, if every Leap Year had a day like today I would be leaping for joy and wanting it every year. The prompt for Illustration Friday was leap of course. I couldn't resist this one.

Today was a lovely 54 degrees with a slight breeze. I got so much accomplished in the garden today. The very best was that I found the first crocus of the year budded up. Just look at that sun and look at those little buds. This is more like it!! Another day of sunshine and I will have an actual bloom. Can't wait, can't wait.
Even the little sedum was all pumped up. I am not sure what kind of sedum this is. It was a tiny little piece that hitch hiked in with another plant. I like the red coloring so it gets to stay.

Storm Damage Plan

All right gang I am beginning to obsess about the storm damaged area. My mind in leaping from here to there. At first I felt a bit overwhelmed with the change. As change that is forced upon me usually makes me draw back. Which is good I guess. I have had a few weeks to think about this, I will continue to do so no doubt. I am happy to say a plan is beginning to ooze over the wall of disblief, denial, anger and disappointment. This is how this are looked this past spring. Of course this isn't quite a fair comparison since the following picture is winter but you can sure see the stark difference.What got me to thinking was that the tree people came to remove the stump. I have to fess up. I have been having visions about a stump project, more on that later, but we had them free-up the stump and they moved it a bit. Not to where I wanted it of course. I was at work when this happened and the translation got lost some place between there and the garden. Oh well. The most difficult part is over. It is free. The only bad part is that it is now sitting on top of a bed of Ostrich ferns. If we get it moved soon enough I don't think they will be killed. Can you actually kill Ostrich Ferns?? I guess I would at least pout if someone put a stump atop of me.
I have decided we will start with as near of a clean slate that we can. DB has his job of removing the huge yews at the end of the patio. He actually wanted to do this a couple of years ago but I just wasn't ready to let go of them yet. I am so glad that he is still of the mind to rip em out.
The poor leaning tree is actually a beautiful Lilac Tree. The tree removal men were licking their lips and oiling their chain saws just waiting for the nod to take her down. Sorry, I couldn't do it. Her bark looks so pretty especially during winter and it smells so good during spring. With the pines gone it might even fill out toward the other side and have oodles more blooms.
The fence is an issue at this point too. I am not sure just what we will be doing with it. I am wanting new fencing yet it will be so easy and economical to just replace what is here. I hope to hide it anyway. Hmmmm

This sketch below is how I see things devleoping. I want a new arbor at the end of the paito so we can still exit this side of the patio, only in style now. I am seeing Whitacha Blue Junipers close to the house. A Pieris or some other evergreen at the end... I have lots of thoughts. I just decided to put it out here. It feels so much more concrete when I think out loud. Does anyone else see a hedgehog here, or perhaps a bear?? I am seeing all kinds of opportunity. :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rabbits are out and about

On our little walk about the garden yesterday (wednesday) morning after the snow Luna did fence patrol while I followed rabbit tracks around the garden. I was wondering what the rabbits were finding for food in our garden this time of year.
Unfotunately for them, fortunate for us and our plants, I didn't find any evidence of nibbling. I could track the rabbit all around the garden though. It is intersting that it stayed on the regular paths for the most part. I could see where it would go into its favorite bushes where it likes to hide from us when we come outside.I could also see where it cut through one flower bed right over the top of the big rock where the lizard usually sits. The lizard must have gotten cold and moved to a warmer place. Here you can also see that Luna was tracking the rabbit. Her footprint goes right over the rabbit print on the rock.

You can see right where this rabbit departed from the garden. In one side out the other.The cats have been checking out the bird feeder right out my window too. They have been quite active in the garden. I wish they would go eslewhere to hunt. It doesn't seem fair to feed the birds just to have the neighborhood cats take them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Luna's Illness

When we returned from our visit with family this weekend our Dear Friend that sits with Luna while we are away told us that she was coughing pretty hard and that she had fallen down. Well, before we departed we didn't notice that she was sick. We knew that she coughed occasionally but I attributed it to allergies. Often it happened when I was also having allergy trouble. I was way wrong of course. We took her to the vet. They did blood tests, which we got results on yesterday, and they did a chest xray. It is not good news. She has been diagnosed with Dialated Cardiomyopothy. We are so sad. She doesn't feel well and we can tell that. They treat it much like the human condition. They have given her a diuretic and an inhibitor of some sort. I am sure DB can fill you in on the specifics if you want him to. There is also another drug that the vets are just now starting to use that is supposed to work very well. We will try it too when they get it in. We want her comfortable.

My heart is just broken. When I looked at that xray and these untrained eyes saw a ball in her chest instead of a heart I was just stunned. She is a brave girl. We brought her home from the vets even though they thought they should keep her overnight. I promised her I wouldn't leave her in the kennel again when we got her. The reason I don't want to is because in her past she was kenneled so long she was almost crippled. Part of how she came to the rescue group from where we adopted her. So I don't intend to kennel her unless hell is freezing over or they can give me a better reason than " she is really groggy and she needs rest." I am hoping that with meds she can have a couple of more years of a happy life but she is quite miserable right now.

We will just have to wait and see. It is amazing how seemingly quick this all overtook her. I guess after looking back we could see other signs of weakness in her. I always knew she wasn't as strong as she looked. She would get winded after a good long walk. However since I would be too I didn't think much of it. ha.. We are just a good pair. We were told when we adopted her that she had had heartworms but was successfully treated for this. So being a big dog and having had heart worms she had two strikes against her heart and this could be conginital condition.

Dogs with this condition can live a couple of years if they can get the meds adjusted etc. She seems better after a couple of days of meds. She also had an elevated white blood count so she has antibiotics to take too. She seems quite content. She hasn't asked for anything more than a walk about the garden the past couple of days though. If you have or have had a big active dog you know this isn't normal. Of course in normal dog style she doesn't complain. She is a happy girl. Now DB and I must do our part and try to be happy too.

Hope from Mush

My poor Hellebores are taking a beating this winter. The poor dears lost all their protection when the pine trees went down. Now we are having snow, ice and today rain turning to snow. Geez... They are such tough creatures they are hanging on with all their might. As you can see this pile of yuck doesn't look very promising...

Look a little closer...there is hope.

This poor little guy doesn't look quite as heady. It is a different type. I can just hear Frances now "girl get out there and cut off those awful dead looking leaves" and I would reply "But Frances I am afraid that those leaves are the only cover that will protect the crowns now" Should I cut or not cut??? This is the question.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Camp Greenbow Happenings

Vinny came to Camp Greenbow for a play date with Luna. He believes that his main job here is to keep watch over the feeders to prevent the squirrels from eating any bird seed. He takes his job very seriously. I wish you could see the way every muscle in his body quivers when a squirrel dares to appear. He races out the door and today he about got one. He sent it tumbling. Needless to say all he had to do is stand at the door to keep them at bay while he was here. Luna didn't go out every time but when she did they played chase around the back garden. You can see the ice collecting on the patio. UGH Vinny's Mom brought them a treat for their afternoon snack. Vinny started chewing his right where I gave it to him.
Luna on the other hand trusts no one. She took hers to the kneehole of DB's desk. Here she stayed until hers was all gone. This is serious business ya know. That little dog might have tried to get her treat.

Then we had an unexpected happening as it was raining ice. We found a totally unexpected box on the front porch. It first appeared to be full of snow. But wait, there was something wonderful inside.

A Dear Friend sent us these beautiful dessert plates and server. They have a wonderful garden scene hand painted on here.

I gathered up some other green items to put together a tea for my DB and me. What joy to receive a beautiful I love You gift. Thank you so much my Dearest Kay. I will definitely be thinking of spring as the snow flies. This is what she asked me to do while using these lovely dishes.
I can't wait until I can share them with others. I wish I could have you all over to tea on one of these gloomy ole snowy days. Until we can meet you can see the hand painted theme. So appropriate for me down to the hat hanging with the garden implements.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Ice Pictures

Well my friends while I was sitting in my garden whining about a little ice on things my Sister who live 60miles south of where I do was really hit with ice about a week ago. We went to her place to visit family and friends today and I must say I was impressed with their ice. I have never seen the aftermath of such an ice storm. As you can see it was melting off the ground ok but look at those trees. This is ice people. Her garden is in 5a. Couldn't tell that by looking at these pictures.
I must add an edit here. As Carol pointed out my Sister is in 6A not 5...typo... How would you like your crocus to be encased by ice like this? I hope they come out for her after the thaw.

It was just unbelieveable the ice packed on the tree brances. Any branch that had a weakness did come down. Talk about a major pick up sticks project.
This is heather that was about to be gorgeous and look at it. Frozen.
Some Hawthorn or crab apples encased in ice.
I just know it will be a few days before the laundry will be hung out.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ice Shower

Yesterday I looked out and found that our garden had been showered with ice balls. So my trusty mutt, Luna, and I went out to see what things looked like. It was so overcast and dreary. Most everything looked pretty sad.

The log planter was full of ice.

You can see that the largest of the sedums I planted in it was barely peeking out of the ice.

If you would like to see the log planter not long after I planted it you can go here to have a look.

The ice did magnify the object that it encased. My little (18" tall) rock that I call my monolith (use your imagination here) shows its beautiful pattern.
Of course the evergreens were catching the ice balls as it came down.
The poor Autumn fern was loaded with ice. This tough fern has obviously stayed fairly green through out what ever OleMman Winter has cast upon it. It just makes me want to plant more of this beautiful fern.
My poor hellebores are looking worse for the wear. I do hope they can snap out of this set back. I haven't seen any buds on them yet so they may be ok.I just hate to see them beat down like this since they were looking so perky. They have more light now that the pine trees are gone.
The garden bench didn't look very comfortable with a coat of ice but you can see how the pattern around the edge is accentuated.
The little bits of color in the garden seemed more vibrant with a coating of ice. The half piece of bowling ball in the urn seemed lively. As did the red gazing ball. You can really see the ice balls that came down. It made driving trecherous.
I seem to like round objects. A small pink gazing ball. I have several round garden beds too.
And last but not least a red finial on the fence post. I just thought a little color would be nice after an ice bath.
Just seeing some color makes me feel warmer.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Stay inside and dream thoughts of warm colorful gardens.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Large Feeder Visitors

My Dear Brother-in-Law sent some pictures of his feeder visitors yesterday. I asked him if I could share these pictures with you. Ithought they were so good. He had been wondering why his feeders were emptying so quickly. Hmmmm Don't we wonder. Hello, Mr Feeder Feller. We don't have any desert out today. What is going on??
I am always just amazed that these big tall creatures have such delicate hooves. Doesn't she just look like she has pixie toes with those little turned up back hooves??
Thank you Bruce.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eclipse of the Full Snow Moon

Last night was such an exciting night with the Eclipse of the Full Snow Moon. Sherry at Q's Corner is an avid watcher of the moon. She keeps me aware of some of the lore of the moon which is how I knew this moon phase had a name. It seems very apt this year. Even here where we don't get as much snow as a lot of places. We woke to a skiff of snow yesterday.

I also want to add that Nan at Letters from a Hill Farm has another way to look at the moon. Her astrological gaze will give you another view. As our house is situated on an odd (to me) angle. We couldn't see the moon unless we went outside. So my dearly beloved went out and I set-up our spotting scope, he set his camera onto a tripod and we moon watched for some time.
We cheated a bit by leaving our equipment outside to run inside to warm up. Dashing out to look and take pictures every few minutes.
I was just amazed at all the color that was reflected by the moon when it was almost covered. My little point and shoot didn't gather all that color but I did so enjoy seeing it. Can't you just imagine how the ancients felt when they saw their precious moon disappear into the night. Wondering or hoping that Orion would pull the moon back into sight before it disappeared forever??
It was so cold that even Luna didn't want to be out in the garden staring at her namesake. She was trying to lead her lunatic pack the way in to the warmth.
We were all so cold we couldn't wait to dive in bed to get warm. We couldn't stay out to watch the moon emerge again. Brrrrrrr I know some brave souls got some fantastic pictures to show of this. So I'm gonna surf around to see it while sitting here drinking a hot cup of tea in front of the fire. Aaaaahhhhh this is more like it.

New Blogger, Old Blogger

     All I can say it is difficult to deal with change. This new Blogger format is not as user friendly in my opinion. I guess I will get us...