Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

GOT SNOW?


The winter storms of December 08 hit us hard. It started with a playful light coating, one we could almost laugh about, chuckling when telling relatives in 'real snow areas' that we were housebound due to the 6 inches of snow on the ground. My two hardy fuchsias are shown below after a few inches of snowfall...


Then the snow became no laughing matter. Ambulances going into neighborhoods needed help from neighbors to get them through the snow and to the sick and ailing. There was no more joking. We'd had enough already. Finally the thaw is here, and now we're worried about flooding.


We hope not only that the people who live here weathered the storms without incident, but wonder what the results of this arctic freeze will be on our plants. The picture above is of the same hardy fuchsias, buried under almost 2 feet of snow. I hope that the snow was like an insulated blanket and the plants will be just fine when spring arrives.

Below: when the snow was highest and
then 24 hours later when the rain and thawing began...



Gazing skyward, willing the sun's return!

Stay well. Stay warm. Stay safe. Stay dry.

~Aerie-el

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

AFTER THE STORM

The freezing rain hit and then remained on the south-facing windows,
framing the winter scene with 'frosted' glass...


It seemed the storm would never end.


The winds Saturday night were thankfully much less than predicted.
The snow they said would fall, fell, and fell, and fell some more.
It was relentless and, though it may not look like it in this picture below,
when the snow stopped, we ended up with at least a foot of snow
on top of the ice we already had.


However, Monday showed signs of a brief respite from all the precipitation.
That was when the wildlife returned en masse to the lake...

Hummingbird

Hawk

And even an unusual visitor to the lake.

So following the lead of this trumpeter swan,
I'm going to sail off for now and
wish all of you seasons greetings and a happy, healthy new year!

~Aerie-el

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CALM BEFORE STORM, ROUND 3

Morning has broken...



Seattle's Puget Sound and many parts of the Pacific Northwest are bracing for the worst storm in decades to hit tonight. People who could stay home have done so for days now (me included) because the roads were so icy and slick. However, today the masses were out shopping for supplies and Christmas gifts, so it was tough to find a vacant spot in any parking lots.

Nothing says 'winter' like warmers...


Who knows if, I mean, when the power will go out, so I thought that while I have the opportunity I'd post a few photos of what things looked like today, when it was sunny, crisp, cold, and clear.

Does this say 'cold'?



And so the line is drawn, and round 3 begins...


For all of you experiencing wild and wacky weather all across the country,
please stay safe, and I'll hope to see you back here soon.

~Aerie-el

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SEATTLE SNOW

Here's what it looked like not long ago...
(click on the image to see the snowflakes falling)



Do you think my hardy fuchsias will survive this extended arctic weather?


Somehow I think this blackberry bush will survive.


Ice crystals...
(click on the image and you can almost hear the ice forming)


Wherever you are, stay safe and warm!
~Aerie-el

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

WEEKEND WILDLIFE

So we got hit pretty hard with some wicked winds and weather this weekend. In spite of those conditions, plenty of wildlife was out and about. Click on any of the pictures for a better view.

I've read that we have some year-round hummingbird residents and have seen them on occasion. This little one visited the feeder (which I had recently freshly replenished) quite a few times that day.


As I headed out to do errands before the worst of the storm hit, I looked up and saw the two resident bald eagles fly overhead and land in some trees (picture below). From their direction then I saw a huge red-tailed hawk fly toward me and away from the eagles.


And while I was out, I happened upon this perimeter patrol at the local reservoir.

So with all this crazy winter weather out there,
I'd like to leave you with the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus:
"Hey, let's be careful out there."


Sunday, December 14, 2008

WINTER WONDERLAND


The wind blew, the snow fell, and everything froze overnight. The outside temperature was 25 degrees F this morning. Brrr. So I pulled on a heavy coat, my winter boots, and headed outside to document the winter weather results just as the sun began to rise this morning.



Winter has arrived early.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

YELLOW

I'm thinking of all of you back in New England and other parts of the country where there has been severe weather. For my family and those of you back in New England, I'm hoping the lights are on, the ice thaws, and life gets back to normal soon.

Change is in the air for the Pacific Northwest as well. The local news is abuzz with information about an Arctic cold snap and freezing temperatures this weekend, lasting through the next week. The winds have been howling, power outages are many, and the threat of lowland snow is predicted for Saturday and Sunday. However, at this point, there are still a variety of flowers blooming in the yard.

For instance, some of my broccoli plants are in full bloom,
with bees still visiting them.


And the Mahonia plants are beautiful in the small woodland garden
I put in about 5 years ago.

Pretty potted pansy...


Hope you have a blooming good winter wherever you live!

~Aerie-el

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

PERSPECTIVES

Hmmm, let me see now...


Now that is one big leaf, maple, that is (acer macrophyllum).



Big concrete leaf. Fun to make!


What a reLEAF to finish another post.
Please leaf me a comment-puns welcome.

~Aerie-el

Friday, December 5, 2008

LOOPY LUPINE

Check out this loopy lupine plant. It grew, flowered, went to seed, and now has little lollipop balls of foliage growing above the stalks where the seeds are/were. The plant has turned into a topiary.


I'm sure there is a really good botanical explanation for this happening, but I haven't yet researched it. Is this 'normal' (though none of my other lupines have done this) or a freakish mutation? Please, you tell me.

~Aerie-el

Thursday, December 4, 2008

BLOTANICAL BLOGS

Out of all the information out there in the blogosphere, Blotanical is an incredible resource of information and extremely comprehensive directory of thousands of blogs. While you mosey around the garden plots listed there, you can discover and explore gardens around the world, chat with the people who tend them, and learn a lot about everything from gardens around the world (of course!) to crocheting to roses or heirloom seeds.


So, what are you waiting for? Check it out--you won't be sorry!
BLOTANICAL, it's the bees knees.

~Aerie-el

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SUNRISES

Sunrise in the Pacific Northwest...


What a difference a day makes...



Wishing you colorful days ahead.

~Aerie-el

Saturday, November 29, 2008

LITTLE TREASURES

You may have heard the commercial whose tagline is 'What's in your wallet?'. No, that's not the question here. The question is: 'what's on your shelf?' You know, the one spot that is home to your little collectibles and odds and ends. Don't tell me you're one of those who has no chachkeys, are you?! Oh my, then you'd best not read any further.

Okay, it's just us collectors now, right? Good. I thought I'd share with you the little group of items I have on my kitchen shelf above my sink.


-First, there is a lovely black-and-white Celtic tile that anchors most of my 'treasures'. The tile was a gift from Scotland from cousins who live in Alaska.
-On the left is a soy candle (vanilla scented-yum) from a friend.
-The greenery/cuttings are Brugmansia (click here to see some nice shots of Brugmansia flowers) from the potted ones I pruned.
-The odd-looking wooden/gray metal contraption (lower right on the tile) is a great little snipper I use when gathering my herbs. The snippers are really a gift that keeps giving because whenever I use them, I am reminded of the gift-giver and all the fun times when we were neighbors.
-The small green dipper-dish is from my sister-in-law and holds lots of odds and ends. The items include mummified sungold cherry tomatoes from last year, a couple chair leg pads (need to be reattached...it'll happen eventually), buttons that are in the shape of leaves in fall colors from a potted plant I won at a gardening event, a chain from something (it'll get back where it needs to go eventually), a blue plastic washer (who knows what that goes to, but when I find out what, I'll have it ready), a frog, and an old penny.
-The Pollock-looking votive-holder is from a favorite potter in Southern California. The small Yankee Candle is one of my favorite candle scents (sage and citrus).
-On the right of the tile, next to the pumpkin there was a screw. It belonged somewhere besides this spot, which is reserved for special things. It is now moved.
-Last, a pumpkin for Thanksgiving.

Now you know what's on my shelf of treasures; What's on your shelf?

~Aerie-el

p.s. Not on your shelf necessarily but perhaps on your tree could be the ornament that Amy is giving away. For more info, check out her blog Blossom.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

THANKSGIVING 2008




HAPPY THANKSGIVING

~Aerie-el


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PINK

I should have thought of this topic before, when it was breast cancer awareness month and pink was THE color. But I didn't, so here it is now, perhaps extending that awareness into November and December and maybe even into the rest of the year. Really, it isn't like this disease takes a break for the other 11 months when it's not 'breast cancer awareness month'.

Here are a few of the last (various shades of) pink blossoms still in my gardens, through wind, rain, and cold temperatures ('cold' being a relative term)...

La vie en rose

Cabbage for critters

Achillea, silly ya.

Hope you're in the 'pink'!

~Aerie-el

Sunday, November 23, 2008

DEJA DES OISEAUX

Please pardon my digression to the topic of birds in this post. But then why not digress to a topic related to gardening? After all, 'gardening isn't separate from other aspects of life, but is part of the whole' (I couldn't have said it any better than C.L. did...click on the link to see her blog.)

Who hasn't welcomed an unexpected plant sprouting in a garden bed? A relative of mine found a ceanothus growing in one of his garden beds before it became wildly popular here in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes the birds give us fun discoveries like that...

Here are a few of my fine-feathered-friends who have visited.

Back for buffleheads?

Kingfisher...sportin' a cool 'do.

American Wigeons wiggling away.

Cormorant being the center of attention.

Hungry robin chicks.

Watchful robin.

Who's this wee, shy, lightening-fast bird, hiding amongst the vines?

Fly away, fly away (sing it, Lenny!)...

Time for me to fly away and continue with my day. Hope you have a good day, wherever you may be.

~Aerie-el