Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The garden -- such as it is -- in January

Last week we had snow. This week we got an unexpected blast of arctic air that the weather gurus thought would bring snow, but brought freezing rain ahead of it in the wee hours of the morning, then snow on top. Traffic has been a mess, schools have been closed, and while the main roads were clear today, getting out of our own neighborhood was the most hazardous part of my drive in to work today. I waited until things thawed out a bit this morning before I ventured out onto the roads. The cats were whining for a walk yesterday, but sleet and snow don't make good kitty walking conditions. This morning I took them out on their harnesses, and got some garden pictures while I was at it. Amazing. Even in January, it's possible to find some garden eye candy.

Remember Wild Bill from last summer? (Feral Kitten Update and Wild Bill is in the House) He's become a sweet-natured house kitty, a bit of a clown, and even at seven months, still kittenish cute. He sometimes still cringes when we try to pet him, as though he expects to be attacked, but more and more often he rolls over to show, "I'm not really afraid." He's also learned that sitting and looking cutely at me when I'm on the couch sometimes gets him a kitty treat. Alas, his mama that we were caring for disappeared just before Thanksgiving. We think she may have been a victim of a suspected cat poisoner in the neighborhood. Yet another reason we keep our kitties indoors and only take them out on a leash.

Here's Wild Bill, looking up from his busy sniffing, with an expression of, "What's that crazy lady pointing at me now?"

A few pieces of old slate stacked up make a nice platform feeder for ground-feeding birds. Here an Oregon Junco searches for birdseed in the snow.

My little birdbath, made of three clay pots and a clay saucer fastened together with silicon glue (ten minute crafts -- something I can actually finish), and full of ice. Keeping water out for the birds in this weather is a real trick. I try to pour some hot water into the pans in the morning to thaw out the ice from the night before. At the base of the birdbath you can see some disks of ice that came out of the birdbath on the prior days that still haven't thawed.

Snow-glazed Daphne leaves, with the buds turning pink already. We should have some fragrant Daphne soon.

Brilliant Cotoneaster berries, dusted with snow, brighten the winter landscape considerably. The robins have been munching on them, too.

Our house has a garage in the back, and the access drive was still covered in snow. There was a neat line of raccoon tracks leading from the wooded lot behind the houses across the street, down our drive, and into the neighbor's yard.

Brrr, I hope we thaw out soon. I still have garden chores to do that I was supposed to do in the fall!


M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

We had a bit of snow in Austin and ice. We aren't used to it and the whole city shuts down, too. I enjoyed it because it is short-lived.

I'm sorry to hear about Wild Bill's mama--I was so touched by your story when you rescued him.

I really like your stacked slate and stacked flowerpot pieces. I need to be a bit more creative in the garden and your photos are inspiring.

MrBrownThumb said...

Hey, I got a feral cat too last year who kept visiting my garden so I kept him around. And now I can't keep him from wanting to rub against everyones legs.

It's amazing the change in temperament from just this past summer. I haven't been able to get a picture because whenever I've tried he's come right up to the camera and tries to lick it.

And I too enjoyed the snow we got.

Kate said...

I wonder where you've gone ... I hope you come back soon!