Frozen in Time? February 7, 2012
After the fluctuating mild temperatures we've experienced recently, I was shocked to see my oak tree covered in ice the other morning.
Icicles hung from the branches, thawing as the sun began to rise. My eyes followed the glistening ice crystals and water droplets down the trunk and into the ground above the roots.
That got me thinking: How do freezing temperatures affect my trees? Of course, water is essential to life, but does this necessarily apply to the winter months as well? Or are trees and other plants just frozen in time and forced to wait for replenishment until spring arrives?Read More
Seeking A Winter Color Fix January 26, 2012
Now that Mother Nature's typical winter persona has dumped inches (and feet) of snow onto my home, car and landscape, I find myself wishing there was something more to look at besides the blinding, stark blankets of white that now cover just about anything in sight.
How many more weeks are there until spring?
As others might look forward to Valentine's Day this time of the year, I spend my January counting down the days until Feb. 2, or Groundhog Day. It's funny how serious I take Punxsutawney Phil's reaction to the sunlight, or lack thereof. But who among us hasn't hoped the groundhog wouldn't see his shadow so we could quickly cross winter off of the list and start planning for warming days and blooming plants?Read More
City Trees Can Get By With a Little Help From Their Friends January 18, 2012
My dad kept a ficus tree for 27 years before it grew too tall and too wide to keep indoors during the winter months.
I was convinced that tree was his first child. My dad kept up on watering, cleaned out the sparse dead leaves when necessary and, in the summer, staked the tree container in our backyard to avoid damage from strong winds. Among the vegetables in his garden and the perennials we planted together each spring, it was quite obvious that ficus meant a lot to my dad.
When he decided to give his tree away for indoor space limitations, my dad posted ads in the classifieds for an appropriate and trusting new owner. Although he was giving away the tree at no cost, my dad screened the callers with questions to be sure his ficus tree ended up in the right hands.Read More
Oh, the Weather Outside is ... Mild January 11, 2012
The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The sky is a vibrant blue.
I'm wearing a light jacket and gloves. There's a very slight chill in the air but the warmth from the sun wipes that away before it can even bother me. This weekend, taking a walk with my dog in the park, the pathways were rather full of others doing the same. They were smiling and jogging and taking in the scenery. Most of their heads were free of the typical tassel-topped hats that are signatures of the season.
Though the leaves aren't on the trees yet and my spring bulbs aren't shooting up, the anticipation and excitement of the new season are so tangible I can practically taste them in the crisp air. And seeing the light in others' eyes and the skip in their steps tells me they are feeling the same.Read More