Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Greens and clear mountains

A quick trip "up the hill" for a meeting found me admiring the clear view of the mountains and a lovely sunset.

late winter greens from a previous year
A bonus from this trip was collecting greens (arugula, mustards, kale and turnip greens) from my unprotected raised beds. It's rather remarkable how they've bounced back from sudden low temperatures in the low 20°s a couple of times already -- low temperatures are predicted again for tonight.  The kale isn't surprising, but the arugula and mustards?

The mache and creasy greens look great and I've left them for harvest later in the winter! They're quite OK freezing solid, amazingly.

The remnants of the broccoli stems (totally frosted)make me feel better about the woodchuck muching earlier in fall - I probably wouldn't have had a harvest anyway.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Back to normal?

Finally, our curiously warm and wet days for early December are trending back to normal, after being punctuated (on both ends) by severe freezes.

It was 71° yesterday.  Very odd. It's triggering some early flowering, but not like last year oddities, that's for sure.  But I remember a Christmas Day (in Austin, while growing up) that was 80°F and in coastal GA, we had very mild winter days, too.

There have been plenty of falls over the last two decades, too, where we haven't experienced a hard frost (much less freeze) by the time we leave for winter break.

The Japanese cherries keep flushing out!   At this rate, it'll be interesting to see how many flower buds are left for spring.

At the Garden (where I work), our director spotted a Hepatica acutiloba in flower (it's normally one of the first flowers in spring, but December?)

Here's a post from several years ago, remarking on late February flowers.

Hepatica acutiloba

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

A lovely hike

A gift of an unexpected Sunday afternoon in the mountains (thanks to a plumbing issue requiring Monday attention) was a lovely hike along a short segment of the Mountains-to-Sea trail, along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Remnant snow made the trail slippery in spots, but the views were lovely.

Galax and mosses were nice, as were the abundant Christmas ferns.

Woody's pawprints on the road (Blue Ridge Parkway, closed currently at this point because of the pre-Thanksgiving snow), pointed the way home.

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