Wish you were here

Foggy landscape this morning was good for photos.

Remember all that boring stuff I wrote about the snow and ice only a couple of weeks ago? Although it started out foggy this morning, it’s now 78F and beautiful outside. I’d love to tell you I’m planting hellebores or something, but I’ve got four articles due this week, and two sick children. Chicken soup came first, and then research on vines later. I will try to get in the garden sometime today. I really do have hellebores to plant, several new seed strains including: Winter Jewels™ Painted Lenten Rose, Helleborus x ‘Brandywine,’ and Winter Jewels Apricot Blush. I bought these at TLC Nursery in Oklahoma City one day when Helen Weis and I were goofing off. Unfortunately, the snow came and put my planting on hold. When I was at the same nursery the other day looking for two Ilex x meservae a/k/a Castle Spire® hollies for the end of the garden, I noticed several hellebores were now blooming at TLC. With hellebores, it’s always a good idea to buy them blooming so you know what you have. So many are seed strains, and you just never know. I got a bit impatient. It’s a good thing I like surprises.

Violas emerged virtually unscathed from the snow and cold temperatures.

I simply must get outside. I’ve gazed so long at this computer my mind is feeling mushy. Birds are making love speech to one another, and a Tufted Titmouse is dancing outside my kitchen window. Wait, I am wrong. There are two, a male and female. I believe  they are gathering nesting materials from the garden. I’m so glad. I left it for them to do with as they wish.

Tap, the very bad puppy

This morning, I was forced to put a nice leather harness on Tap. He has lost three collars in the last two weeks. I found a nice one at Petsmart by Martha Stewart, and it was even on sale. I bought him a leash too so that when we visit the vet later this week, he’ll look quite smart. We were forced to stake him in the yard (at least while we’re gone) because he has a girlfriend up the road. Puppies may ensue. They may ensue anyway, but at least we did our part. If she wanders over here, I can’t be responsible.

Tap in profile. What woman wouldn't love that face?

Our neighbor told us the other night at 2:00 a.m. Tap came looking for my neighbor’s dogs who are his friends, and he howled until Perry let him in the garage. Luckily Perry isn’t the neighbor who threatened to shoot Tap. Of course, Perry doesn’t have chickens. If he had, he might not be so obliging. Anyway, I hope a visit to the vet will help with Tap’s wandering ways.

Of course, we’ll have more freezing temperatures . . . it is February after all, but this morning, I found these lovely crocus already blooming and thought of you.

C. chrysanthus, 'Snowbunting', which Old House Garden bulbs tells me is from 1914. I know it's the earliest blooming crocus I've ever grown. Let's hope it multiplies.

Wish you were here.

Record breaking snowfall hits Oklahoma

Yesterday, at least twelve and a half inches of white stuff fell on central and north central Oklahoma. Tulsa got even more snow, but we’re all just glad we don’t live in southeast Oklahoma where they had ice.

The snow was piled up again the gate, so I can't get into the back garden. Here is my cart and the lake behind it.

I’ll take snow any day over ice.

It’s beautiful, but dangerous as many who have decided to drive discovered. Bill and his crews are out plowing in Oklahoma City, and he said yesterday, they could hardly plow for pulling out drivers. He reports that the highways look good, but city streets are a mess.

Snowdrift ot the top of my three rail, split rail fence in the snowstorm of February 3, 2011.

This snow was the type which blew, and we have snowdrifts all the way to the top of the fence. I know the people in the northeastern U.S. are probably laughing at us, but our norm is one to two inches of the fluffy stuff (and in some years, none at all).

At the Red Dirt Ranch though, I am as snug as a bug in a rug with hot tea, banana bread and chili. I’ve gone out several times to get firewood for the fireplace we hardly ever use, but which I’m so grateful for when it’s only 4F. Yes, you read that right. Supposed to get up to 10F today, and 22F tomorrow. I’m afraid my children are going to be home for three days this month.

Snow covers the raised yellow and pink daylily borders. Now, where are those Galanthus elwesii or G. nivalis under all that snow? (Wink!)

We heard from Rick Mitchell, the KOCO TV meteorologist, more snow is predicted for Monday (although only an inch or so). The good news in all this is, the snow will protect the plants in the 4F weather. They need snow as a protective blanket. Yup, I’m holding onto that one as I’m stuck in the house with four bored teenagers. Bear loves snow, but I won’t let her stay outside long. It’s too cold. Your skin can freeze in 20 minutes. I know because the news people keep shrieking it on TV.

The only one who is excited about the weather now would be Tap. I made a slideshow of him just before he nearly knocked me down. In the last slide, it’s difficult to tell, but all four paws are in the air.

Well, Tap, I’m glad you’re happy at least. You’ve got a fur coat to keep you warm.