Monday, April 3, 2017

Creeping Slowly Towards Spring

Despite the fact that we got yet another winter storm Friday into Saturday, there is evidence all around that spring is coming to the mountains....slowly but surely.

 
I snapped this photo through the dining room window during the storm. I bet the red winged blackbirds are wishing they stayed down south just a few weeks longer! But I am truly happy to see them - they are absolutely a herald of spring in these parts.
 
 
Saturday was a cold, damp, miserable day with sleet, snow, freezing rain....the works.  I stepped outside during a brief reprieve to snap a photo of the mountain across the way, which was completely frosted.
 
 
I quickly ran back inside, where the lamps were lit and the fire blazed happily in the woodstove.

It was no day to be outdoors if you didn't need to be.
 
 
I had a project to do that was going to keep me warm and toasty during this winter storm. It was time to start the seeds for my crooked little country garden.
 
I'm actually a bit late starting the seeds, but that last huge storm we got that dumped 40 inches of snow on us made it impossible to reach my little garden cottage to retrieve the seed trays. It should still work out fine, as we really can't plant out any tender annuals until Memorial Day Weekend up here in the mountains.
 
 
Down to the warm utility room I went, which was the perfect place to while away a stormy afternoon.
 
I planted 5 varieties of peppers along with eggplant, leeks, celery, basil, balsam, and castor bean. The balsam and castor bean are for the flower garden, the rest for the veggie garden or the herb boxes.
 
It felt so good to get my hands in the dirt once again, and the scent of the earth  never fails to get me excited for the promise of spring!
 
I used many seeds I saved from last year's order to Johnny's Selected Seeds, and also some seeds that a sweet friend surprised me with. I'm hoping the seeds from last season are still viable, and I think they should be as I stored them in the downstairs fridge.
 
Fingers crossed. I've been obsessively checking the seed trays looking for that first little sprout.
 
 
When Sunday rolled around it was quite the change from Friday & Saturday's winter storm - blue skies, warmer temps, pure heaven to this winter weary soul.
 
What a difference a day makes!
 
 
By afternoon, the deck thermometer was over 50 degrees, and the sunshine was just the thing I needed to give me a boost.
 
 
After all the weekend chores were done, I snapped the leash on my little Monkey and headed out for a nice long walk.
 
I am so blessed to live in a rural setting, where I can step outside my door and be immersed in nature. The sound of birdsong and a gentle breeze in the trees is music to my ears. The creek runs along both sides of the road, so the sound of water surrounds me.
 
A long walk in the country is  truly the best thing to reset my mind and refresh my soul.
 
 
Being in the mountains, the roads are quite hilly, which means a walk is quite the workout. But the views certainly make it all worth it.
 
 
Back at home, the Monkey was completely knocked out - she climbed right into her bed for a long nap. It is surely a tough job for those little tiny legs to walk for miles and miles.
 
I grabbed a cocktail and headed outside to the cedar swing next to my garden cottage. The sun was shining right on the swing, and although I had to trudge through the snow to get there, I was quite contented sitting on my swing in the snow with the sun warm on my face.
 
Spring is coming, albeit slowly.
 
There was a robin hopping around on the patch of grass that's not covered in snow, and its mate was in the evergreen shrubs at the back of the house, busily building a nest. The robins nest in those shrubs every year, and I love watching them raise their family right outside my bedroom window.
 
 
Another sign of spring around here is the return of the turkeys. No doubt they are around in the winter, but turkey sightings are far more sporadic. However, right now it's mating season and they are coming around en masse, putting on quite the show. There are about 20 female turkeys that come down through the back woods, traipse through my back garden, and hang out with the horses every morning. They are picking up bits of hay and food the horses drop, and this morning the females had company.
 
 
I really tried to get a good photo of this guy, but remember I'm taking some of these out a window so there are screens....and possibly some smudges...in the way.
 
Meet Tom. He was strutting his stuff out there for ages, using every trick in the book to try and attract himself a mate! He was showing off all his feathers, fluffing them up to their fullest, and creating quite the racket with his gobbles.
 
None of the females seemed to be interested in his efforts, they were more interested in the food they were scrounging from the horse paddock. But he kept at it, prancing and preening.
 
Kind of reminds me of a few men I've met through the years.

I sure hope he has better luck than they did!

28 comments:

  1. I knew a Tom like that once. LOL. Wow you are still wintry there. I hope it warms up soon. I had been thinking about you and your little starter trays. You are a great gardener . Be safe and enjoy the sweet sunny days. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. I know a Tom like that NOW Susie! Every time I see this guy around town I kind of get the heebie-jeebies, ha ha!!

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  2. Wasn't that blue sky just glorious on Sunday? People were outdoors everywhere we went to finally welcome a bright spring day. Your walk sounds like such a delight to me. What an amazing view and I could almost hear the water running in the creek. I always enjoy reading about your plantings. Happy Spring!

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    1. The water is running like mad, Courtney, the waterfalls I pass when I head off the mountain were outrageous yesterday! And the creeks are all brown right now with all the melting snow and runoff - nuts!

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  3. I know you were so excited to have your cocktail outdoors! I envy you those gorgeous nature views.
    Brenda

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    1. I've been waiting for ages to be able to enjoy a cocktail outdoors again, Brenda! It was heavenly!

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  4. Oh it's almost here and it will be wonderful.

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    1. No doubt it's already spring in Arizona, Marty!

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  5. Winter outside...spring inside with your seeds and pretty pillows! :) It's coming...

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    1. Is it spring by the beach yet, Kim? I'm thinking most likely it is!

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  6. Preening is much more attractive coming from a turkey than from a man, don't you think?

    I'm always so impressed that you gardeners in the Northeast have such prolific gardens when your growing season is so much shorter than ours in the South. But I remember the first time I saw your blog, I think, was when you showed your late summer garden bounty spread out over your kitchen and it was gorgeous. I hope spring does come soon for you so you can get a start on it but Memorial Day seems a long way off. We've been know to have a hard freeze near Mother's Day but usually we can count on the last part of April being fairly safe.

    Your home inside looks so cozy after an excursion into the snow and Ice!

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    1. Thanks, Dewena!! My gardening season is even shorter up here on the mountain top than it was in my home in the valley, so I'm learning each year what works and what doesn't. Some things I have no luck with....I should probably keep a gardening journal, although I guess maybe my blog serves that purpose!

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  7. I've come across a few of those in my day too LOL

    How neat that you have a space for your seedlings. I would love something like that! I hope Spring visits you soon, my friend.

    xoxo,
    rue

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    1. It's springy outside today, Rue, but Saturday we are expecting more snow and a freeze that night. Sigh. Sunday looks good though, I'm hoping to spend the day outside getting the gardens ready!

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  8. So glad you are seeing glimpses of spring in your area. You live in a beautiful location.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thanks, Lorraine, I feel so blessed, without a doubt!

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  9. I bet you ARE glad to see the ground again, and the hope of spring. You're not far behind us here in the middle south (WV), but on our walk just now, my husband & I were commenting how much drastically changed in our neighborhood in just the last day! It's incredible, really, little miracles daily. Love the analogy of the Tom turkey. :)
    Rita

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    1. Oh, that Tom turkey!! He's been strutting his stuff all week! What a show-off he is, Rita! I bet your gardens are gorgeous already! Mine never even got cut back last fall....winter snuck up on us, so I have a ton of work to do as soon as the snow is gone!

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  10. Your pictures are a familiar scene here too but there is some green popping up around my yard and it is almost 70 degrees today! I live in a village so only once a large turkey flew in and then right back out of my yard again. The Tom I knew didn't need to fluff his feathers...the women flocked to him anyways!!

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    1. Ha ha, that's funny, AnnMarie! It's nice here today, but only about 55. Tomorrow is going to be torrential rains, should probably take care of the rest of the snow!

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  11. I hope your seeds grow well for you and that your nice weather is just around the corner with ours!! Nancy

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    1. Thanks, Nancy - a few of the seeds have already sprouted, in only 3 days! I was surprised, I don't remember them being that quick last year!!

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  12. Too funny with the turkeys...

    I am most impressed with your little greenhouse in your utility room! Can you perhaps write a blog post on how you set this up and where you bought the materials, etc? If not, no worries, I'm sure I can find out more through a google search.

    Wacky weather here in northern IL...we've had nothing but cold temps (30's, sometimes 40's) and non-stop rain. It's been so gloomy. Tomorrow and Thurs, there will be some snow mixed in with the rain. But Fri will be sunny and in the 50's; Sat in the 60's & sunny, and 72 and clouds and sun on Sunday! I can't wait. It will feel so good to be able to open the windows and let the fresh air in, hear all the birdsong, and feel the sun shining on my face once again. :-)

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    1. Oh, same here, Melanie! I've had enough of winter at this point, I'm ready to spend some serious time outdoors! I actually did write a post about that last year - you can find it here: http://www.mountainmamaonline.net/2016/03/seed-starting-in-snow.html and I did a cost analysis on it in this post: http://www.mountainmamaonline.net/2016/03/how-to-save-big-money-each-spring.html

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  13. Love those views you have and I would definitely prefer your weather to ours! Last week climbing up to 86 degrees was a horrible thing to experience! :-) I am a mountains person and have no idea why I am living in the flatlands of Texas!! :-) Love and hugs!!

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    1. I'm so lucky with my views, and I know it! This is the first home I've had with a mountain view and I'm pretty sure I fell in love instantly!

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  14. I hope your seeds sprout soon. We're hoping for a break in the rain this weekend so we can plant kale seeds outside.

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    1. Hi Danielle - I am hoping to get out on Sunday and start to get the gardens ready for spring - the weather might be ok that day! My veggie garden needs some TLC before I can plant but I'd love to get the peas in soon!

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