Well, look at that: it’s almost half-way through February already; two weeks since last I posted. Groundhog reports suggested only two more weeks of winter tomfoolery, but that seems a smidge optimistic, what with the parade of winter storms and blasts of supercold Canadian air we’ve been enjoying.
As usual, most of those storms have found us as rain…sometimes LOTS of rain…but we’ve had a little snow, and a some of the seriously cold temps, too.
As for my writing, I’d fall back on the old “what’s a gardener to write about in winter” excuse, but my January flurry of activity belies that condition, as does my silly “March-mas” cactus that blooms every three months. The latest such display is just winding down now.
I know I’ve held forth about this little plant plenty since making its acquaintance three years ago, but it feels like such a miracle every time it does. And lately, each time it blooms, it seems an even better show than the time before. Check the delightful contrast to the winter scene out the office window.
In the southern sunshine of the living room window, my little pink begonia blooms merrily, a nearly perpetual condition for this particular plant. There has been a bit of golden sunshine lately, in fact that was probably the only reason we weathered a few of those super-cold days recently passed.
It’s certainly helped, too, to realize that the days are lengthening a little while we’ve been distracted by other things, our skies clouded over with one storm or another. This past week, P and I realized that there was just enough light when I got home from work to make our favorite walk to the bay and back. Oh, what a comfort to realize the warm embrace of a summer’s evening isn’t far in the future.
Here’s another sign of the season’s turning: in one of the front room’s southern windows, I’m sheltering a summer container garden, keeping it watered to see which plants might survive the winter. This basket is planted with dracaena, geranium and lantana. Just this week, the lantana has begun flowering. I didn’t see that coming.
On another front my faith has been rewarded, as my old amaryllis bulb has recently sprung back to life. If my casual calculations, vague estimations and dim memory serves, it’s doing so about a month later than it did last year, which I now realize was about a month later than the year before that.
By this timetable, I suppose I might get a bloom or two around the start of March, which will be great. But I only pretend to know anything; they’re plants and they’ll do just what they like.
Last Saturday evening brought us a night of intense storminess with high winds, thunder and lightning and so much rain that it would’ve buried us deep had it fallen as snow. I was suprised to get this shot out one of those front windows.
It’s a longer exposure setting, so some of the tree blurriness comes from the wind, though the window was pretty drippy, too. The red light is on a nearby radio tower. The orange glow is mostly general light pollution, but in this shot, it’s brightened by some lightning, as well.
A few nights after that, they posted a wind advisory, for gusts in the 50 mph range, which isn’t really big news here on the Cape. Wind’s just something we do pretty regularly, as oft-jangling chimes will attest. But this storm seemed intense even by our regular standards. There was no precipitation, just steady, scouring gusting winds that roared and crashed over the house like waves on the shore, making trees creak and dance outside the windows as the house shuddered at the gustiness. It was a good night to troubleshoot windows for proper insulation.
But then after each of the storms, we’ve enjoyed some sweet sunshine, strong enough to cast crystal-borne rainbows onto a variety of walls at home, something that never fails to tickle me.
In other garden news, on one of our warmer recent afternoons, our Christmas tree Drosselmyer swapped the bright colors of his holiday attire for a new string of LED solar-powered lights. I think he looks quite handsome, if sometimes ghostly late at night, when the lights are dim.
Tomorrow I head off to Connecticut for the weekend, where I anticipate getting to see some serious snow. In fact, there was some question about just where I’d park when I arrived there, there’s so much snow, but we’ll address that when I get there. Fortunately, there appears to be no new precipitation in the weekend forecast. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for easy traveling and try to bring home some good pictures to share.
And last but not least, Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. Even though I generally prefer the production numbers about Abe Lincoln, I do hope you’ll have a sweet weekend, no matter your “relationship status”.
Remember that it’s not about whether you’re single or coupled. Make it a day to celebrate whom (or what) ever it is that you love: your family, your friends, your cat.
Have fun and stay warm!