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Really really winter [Jan. 8th, 2017|07:53 am]

I remember cold snaps growing up and i remember accumulation of winter precipitation growing up, but i sure don't recall both here in NC.

The two together, "snow" first, is a good thing! I know the little green plants out there are all encased in the inch plus of sleet and ice pellets with a decorative coating of snow on top. It's 8° F this morning, but the ground is, i'm sure, still above freezing. We didn't get much in the way of the ice glaze that weighs down trees and snaps them, so continuous power has made this all the more pleasant.

My memory growing up was that one woke the day after the snow to a drippy mess. This morning it is spectacular outside. Tomorrow morning should be the same.

We are "stuck" here, though. Road plowing is a good ways off, i suspect: it's not snow plowing, either. It's the inch of sleet pellets that those who have been out in their vehicles have packed to ice. We have decent tires on our Ranger pickup Liandra, but as we don't need to leave, i see no reason to test just how good the tires are.

The HVAC is running on electric heat, so i've just cranked the gas logs. Should have thought of that earlier.

Hot cocoa to come.

I haven't been feeding the birds. In California i realized just how much we were paying for bird seed, and when we quit (due to the apparent ease of predation), i resolved not to feed birds unless i could grow the food. That's one nice thing to say about the Autumn Olive: it's bird food. I'm looking at oil-seed sunflowers and millet for next year, as well as popcorn and peanuts. For now, i threw out the bug riddled rye grass seed, some old peanuts i roasted in the shell, and buckwheat seed. No one has descended to inspect the seed, but i've seen birds come around foraging in the woods. Maybe today.


[User Picture]From: gurdonark
2017-01-08 01:50 pm (UTC)
Back in the snow!

I bought seed yesterday, though seed is not universally popular here in our household, as it seems to get scattered in places other than bird feeders. I bought a reusable bag, though, which looks safer about that.

Your plant skills would make that an interesting challenge--to find more things to plan that might provide
forage in Winter. I'd love to plant here for Cedar Waxwings, which Cornell tells me makes my choices mistletoe, madrone, juniper, mountain ash, honeysuckle, crabapple, and hawthorn,
but actually growing a larger Burford Holly would probably be my option.

Our backyard winter birds are Dark-Eyed Juncos, and they like our short shrub foliage, with its ideal hiding laces.

The things you threw out sound very bird-tasty.

Edited at 2017-01-08 01:51 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2017-01-09 01:02 am (UTC)
I hope they're bird tasty as time passes: a mixed flock flew through the front yard, and during our midday perambulation we saw many bird tracks in the front of the house -- but few in the back. How odd! One track of a rabbit making a loop in the woods in front. We didn't see our red shouldered hawk today. He's in the front, not the back, when we see him ... which could be because the birds are in the front.

The front is where all the brush piles are, which are havens for all sorts of critters -- and the birds probably find those piles appealing even with hawks above.

I still remember how striking i found cedar waxwings the first time i noticed them. The "cedars" here are the junipers they prefer. None of the cedars on our property have berries -- i hope it's just they're all young. The holly starts we have are young as well -- all brought here by birds, i'm sure.
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[User Picture]From: annie_r
2017-01-09 12:53 am (UTC)
I made a special trip out on Thursday for birdseed. We got maybe 4" of snow up here. It seems to be pretty variable around the area. The road is all ice, though. A plow truck came through, but just pushed away a bit of snow and left a road of ice. Luckily I don't need to leave, either, and in an emergency, could probably get out of my subdivision (Subaru AWD) and onto the main road.
The cold, though, this is highly unusual. Snow usually melts within a few days. I'm glad I bought proper snow boots this year, but still do not own a snow shovel.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2017-01-09 01:06 am (UTC)
Given our layer of sleet, i'm pretty sure it would take a serious shovel to clear things.

My warmest outerwear tuns out to be the boots, jacket, and gloves i bought when Christine started riding motorcycles. I didn't get much use out of them -- i was pretty timid about the bike -- so it's good to get some use now.

Hope you are staying warm!
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