Saturday, January 23, 2010

Melting Snow, Signs of Spring, Camera Critters

We've been having highs in the upper 30s and 40s, and the couple of feet of snow we had has been melting.  Some of it is ending up in our basement.  When I looked out for critters today, I got sidetracked taking photos of some surprises I found.

I am pleased to see new growth on my hellebores.  I need to look in the book I won from Jan, at Thanks for Today to see if I should be removing the leaves yet.

The heucheras look like they've survived winter so far.

Larry took the corn out of the squirrel feeder in the front yard, scraped the corn off, and scattered it around.  The lambs ears and lamium look like they are ready to grow.

As I was about to step off the porch to take more melting snow photos, my eyes landed on a squirrel about 8 feet away, eating corn off a cob it brought over from the neighbor's, and I thought, oh, goodie, now I can post for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn.  I was amazed at how many photos it let me take of it. By now, there is probably a nice list of critter photos to check out by clicking the link in my sidebar.

Troy's granddaughter, these are for you!  Grandpa left me a nice comment saying how much you like my squirrel photos.

After the squirrel left, I ventured off the porch to see what was else was going on.  (When our daughter-in-law came to get Grandson, she brought the rest of the acorns she had swept up this fall.  This time, Larry plans to put them out in the front yard.)

The liatris and fireworks goldenrod are still looking good in the snow.

The yarrows are greening up already.  I have been gardening for so long, yet from year to year, don't always remember when some things start growing, and if they start too soon, what happens to them.

I forgot the name of this repeat blooming iris that didn't get to finish blooming when freezing weather hit.

I'm curious to see how these Debonair mums do.

I wonder if I should cut the dead part off of the snapdragons.  I have had them live over the winter before, but don't remember them staying green during the winter.

I'm assuming the fire hydrant got used today, but since the snow is there, I don't think the hose drug on the plants.  I forgot to go out to look.  I did look as I drove by to go look at appliances, and it looked fine.  When we came home from taking our grandson to see my parents today, there were several fire trucks and other vehicles up and down the street.  A neighbor told us there had been a fire across the street in the blue house, third from the corner.  They were winding up the hoses when we pulled up, and when I thought to get out the camera, they were finished.

As I was taking photos of the fire trucks, I saw some sparrows on my next door neighbor's porch railing and bush.

Theses pots in the back no longer have their huge snow hats.

The pinewood thyme (from the above pot on the left) is greening up, too!

The flat leaf parsley will bloom this year, since it's a biennial.  I will snip the leaves until it does.  In the past, I put parsley plants on the compost pile when they started blooming, but I've read that the caterpillars and butterflies like parsley blooms, so I let them grow.  I should have lots of parsley blooms in my garden across the street.

I'll need to cut back the sweet autumn clematis before new growth comes up, but for now, I'll enjoy the seedheads as I walk in and out of the back door.

The days are continuing to get longer, and when February gets here, I will start being more at ease, knowing spring is on its way.  I have not been visiting blogs or posting as often, as I went from helping our daughter move, to planning a kitchen remodel.  I am thankful for all the encouragement and ideas people left in their comments on my last post.

We have someone coming Monday to show us his plan and the materials he has available.  In the meantime, we went ahead and looked at appliances, and have what we want in mind.  Actually, we each want a different refrigerator.  I have chosen a particular side by side because it doesn't stick out into the room as far, has the energy star, and I like the layout.  The one Larry wants has French doors, which would be nice, but the freezer is on the bottom, which I don't know if I could get used to, and the ice maker is in the refrigerator.  I don't want to see an ice maker when I open the refrigerator.  Plus, it sticks out into the room several inches more than the one I want, and the one we currently have, which I feel sticks out as far as I'd want one to.

Well, I hope all of you are doing well, and even if I'm not getting you visited, you all are in my thoughts and prayers.


  1. Sue, we have had such a mild winter There are many bulbs up already and my hydrangeas are in bud.

  2. It's amazing to see so much green under all that snow! It must be a relief. Hope the basement didn't get much damage from the water.
    I noticed how much thicker the squirrels coat is there, they sure do look fluffier than ours.

  3. It always looks odd to see the little flashes of green in the snow but some plants don't seem to mind. I love your squirrel photos in this post and previous ones as well. As you can probably guess from my screen name they are one of my favorite little critters.

  4. It is great to see the bits of green here and there. Your squirrel must be a happer camper with the corn. Nice set of photos.

  5. such special promise there. love the variety of photos sandy

  6. Wow Sue ~ You have so much going on there, plants peaking out and greening up, squirrels and birds, and action with the fire dept. I hope the people's house wasn't damaged much.

    The next refrigerator we get, I want the freezer on the bottom. We have one of the smallest refrigerators out there and when it comes time to replace, I hope we can find one of similar size to fit in the nitch we have for it, with a pull out shelf above it.

    Have fun with planning and dreaming about both your gardens and your remodeled kitchen. They both will reward you for many years to come.


  7. I loved the picture of your little squirrel - so much nicer looking than our grey scrawny looking ones.

  8. I'm amazed by all the green you have in your garden, Sue! That certainly looks promising. I haven't had time to inspect my gardens lately, but I'd be surprised to see anything green there, unless it's the yarrow or the parsley--those two don't give up in the cold very easily. The snow must have really helped to insulate your plants.

    Great capture of the squirrel--he looks so innocent in your photos.

  9. That squirrel looks pretty content there. I've always thought they were kind of cute little critters.

    I like energy star, they save lots of money on cooling costs. The thing I don't like about side by sides is that you can't get anything big into either the fridge or freezer. Where will you put your turkey? I like the French door fridge design because you can open half and it won't spill out all of the cold air. I would never have a fridge that doesn't have a freezer on the bottom again. I get things out of the fridge WAY more often than I ever bother with the freezer. How often do you use the freezer anyway? The freezer on the bottom does need to have pull out drawers though, that would be a deal breaker for me.

    Have fun! I love designing stuff, allows me to free my creative mind.

  10. It's very different for me, being down in Texas, to see your photos of green peeking up through the snow! Here we are worrying if our plants made it through winter when your garden has been under snow all this time! Anyway, good luck with your kitchen remodel - have fun!

  11. Isn't it wonderful to see the snow melt and thaw and discover these little green starts of growth or the survivors.
    Sue you are too good to that spoiled squirrel. LOL!

  12. Hi Sue...they are lovely squirrel shots.....he is a great little guy to allow you to take so many photographs.

    Nature is wonderful isn't it? There is a point each winter when I think 'my garden will never look the same again' Then spring arrives and mother nature works her magic.......

  13. love the squirrel wouldn't believe how many people have very strong feelings about them...did a post the other day....boy some people really dislike them....

  14. Wow! Lots of excitement on your block. :) I'm so impressed that things are greening up and growing. It will be several more months for me. Cute squirrel pics!

  15. Hi Sue, Don't know that I'd do much uncovering as yet. It's so early... I wait until much later (March? early April?) to peek at the hellebores to see what's happening. Yours are more sheltered, though.

  16. Hi Sue~~ It's nice to see the thaw and a bit of green. It can mean only one thing. Spring! Every day brings us closer. I think it must be a win-win with your squirrel visitors. You make them happy with food and they make you happy with photographs.

  17. Goodness, Sue, I think you have more green in your yard than I have in mine! The 4 days we had when the top temp was 34 and the low for hours and hours was 18-20 degrees- it did some damage here. I feel a huge shopping spree coming on!

    Sympathy for the neighbors who had the fire.

  18. It's official! Our little Princess has proclaimed your squirrels "Cute".

    I'm sure they will sleep happier tonight knowing that!


  19. Sue, I enjoyed all the wintry pictures, especially the squirrel shots. We haven't had any squirrels this winter at all.

  20. The thaw was fun for a bit, but I'm actually unhappy to see all that snow go. The things revealed by the meltage looked so green & fresh, but now they'll be zapped by the cold. I wouldn't start cutting anything back yet. I usually cut off the old Hellebore foliage in March, just before they start to bloom. I need to cut down my Goldenrod. The snow was the only thing holding it upright.

  21. Taking the leaves off hellebores? I didn't know you had to do this. Guess I need to do some research!

  22. What fun to see life under that snow. It will be awhile before our snow melts. I am so looking forward to spring. Thanks for your post today.

  23. It must have been a little alarming to see all those fire trucks lined up on your street. The trucks add a lot of color on a drab January day.

    The last photo of the squirrel almost makes him look cute:) I'm not really very fond of squirrels, but you might change my mind.


  24. Love your squirrel photos :) He's really enjoying that corn!
    We had a warm-up too last week which melted most of our snow, but we're back to cold now and the snow cover is back. The plants are better off with it than without it so I like to have a good snow cover.
    What fun to be getting a kitchen redo. Have fun with that!

  25. Always interested to see your fire hydrant, and even more so with fire engines in attendance!


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