Thursday, November 15, 2018

Winter Seems to Follow Me Around.

11-15-18 SHORT HILLS: Not to be outdone by VT, NJ has four inches of new snow with more coming. It might turn to rain later tonight. Most of the leaves are down, but oaks, viburnums, beeches and others still carry some foliage and so are at risk of damage. We live on a hillside, and cars are already sliding downhill and not getting uphill. The plows are out.

Snow falling while the last of the leaves still hanging on.

Junco seated at the table.

Already about four inches.

It will, perhaps, turn to rain tonight.

Junco and sparrow hanging out under the feeders.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Winter Is Here.

11-13-18 SHORT HILLS: I woke up at 7, and there was six inches of new, heavy, wet snow on everything. Fearing bad driving conditions, I packed up quickly, shut down the house and left. By the time I got to Norwich the precip was mostly rain. The roads and I-91 were snowy and slushy, but by Brattleboro the snow was gone. By Hartford the rain had let up and it was in the mid-thirties. By the NY state line at Brewster, the rain had stopped and it was in the forties. The rest of the trip was uneventful.

White-out in VT....

But still Fall in NJ.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Winter is Definitely Coming.

11-12-18 VERMONT: The last two days have been sunny, breezy and very cold. I cleaned up the last of the beds yesterday and did a bunch of chores today—putting the barn windows in and locking them, bringing firewood into the house, moving the picnic table off the deck and onto the terrace and then wrapping up the rockers and the table in a big tarp, putting put the snow shoveling tools for the deck, cutting up and clearing some deadfall in the pasture, re-doing mouse traps and other stuff I already forgot.

I had dinner with cousin John in Hanover last night.

The afternoon sun lights up the western sides of the New Hampshire mountains that are in our views. They are snow covered and may well stay that way until April. Yesterday morning the pond was iced over at the ends, and the ice extended along the sides of the pond during the day. Today it was completely frozen, except for a two-foot wide hole above the entry point for the springs. Some of the snow on the ground has evaporated, but more is due tomorrow and Friday.

NJ tomorrow.

Mt. Lafayette, in the White Mts, looking very white.

Mt. Moosilauke also looking snowy.

The pond is frozen over except for a small open spot above the spring.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Winter Is Coming.

11-10-18 VERMONT: Anticipating bad weather, I did a long day yesterday and finished clearing the beds around the house. Shortly after dark it began to snow, we got about an inch, and now it's raining and in the forties. The twenties are predicted for tomorrow—a classic New England sequence, snow-rain-freeze-ice. I’ll go out for supplies and provisions later.

Overnight surprise.

Two red squirrels and a chickadee.

Here's how those beds looked before clean up.

Fog, rain and snow, freezing tomorrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Vermont Clean Up.

11-8-18 VERMONT: I’m here to do the garden clean up, I arrived on Tuesday, Election Day, I voted by mail weeks ago. Notice that I capitalized Election Day, I was very pleased with the Blue Wave, could have been better in Florida, but maybe the re-counts will help. Let the hearings begin!

The trip up in the rain was hard and slow, but the weather has been nice since. Yesterday was windy and today colder, but good working days. I did several winterizing chores yesterday before starting the clean up and continued the clean up today.

I have finished the beds between the house and the pond. Removing all the dormant stalks exposes the stonework for a visual window between now and winter. It will soon be covered with snow, and in the spring the flowers will be growing as the snow melts.

If I don’t do the clean up, the dead stalks and debris get compacted by the snow and ice, which creates a barrier for the new growth. Also some perennials, peonies and phlox for instance, get mildewed over the summer, and the dead stalks need to be removed to get rid of the fungus.

I have dumped four cartloads of debris behind the little barn in the pasture to cover a wet area. I do the same thing every year, but all the debris disappears over the winter and the spot stays wet. I think I have another three days of work, weather permitting.

The garden beds behind the house before clean up, above and below.

After clean up. I'm always surprised by the stone work, which is largely hidden by the plants in the summer and by the snow in the winter.

This window in the fall shows the walls and stairs. In the spring the plants are growing as the snow melts.

Red squirrel enjoys the bird seed that falls to the ground. He/she is very brazen, but can't get on the feeder. Pretty cute.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

The Epitome of Red.

11-4-18 SHORT HILLS: November has started with afternoons in the seventies. We did have a night of rain and wind, but nothing to stop our dog walks. The foliage color here developed over night at the beginning of the month, but the windstorm has stripped many trees of the leaves. The burning bushes are the epitome of red.

A flock of, maybe, a hundred grackles has been hanging around the neighborhood and draining our feeders in record time. I hope they move on to soon where ever they go in winter.

Last night we were at NJ PAC for The Marlinsky Orchestra from St. Petersburg, directed by Valery Gergliev. They did Debussy, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and then Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43 with Denis Matsuev on piano. After intermission, came Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Judy liked the first half of the program, but I preferred the Mahler, especially Part I. We ran into old friends Ivan and Puppe after the program.

Burning bush.

Maple window.

Chokecherry and burning bush provide mix of red and orange.

Elm, Norway maple and sweet gum from L to R.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Committee of Vultures.

10-31-18 SHORT HILLS: Today was warm and sunny, but before it warmed up, early this morning, I saw two raptors in the bright blue sky. They landed in a tree top down the block. I got pix from the bedroom window. Yesterday Judy saw one in a different tree near the driveway and got an iPhone pic. All the vultures might mean that Trump is back at his golf course in Bernardsville.

The ash trees are all bare, and the black walnuts are almost there too. Some maples are in good color. The burning bushes are bright red.

New blooms: African violet [thanks, Donna].

A pair of turkey vultures in a tree about a block away from us early this morning. The lower one on the left has a dark face and the black-tipped beak of an immature bird.

A black vulture that Judy caught yesterday with her iPhone. This one was on our corner. The vultures must mean that Trump is nearby.
Burning bush on a sunny afternoon.

Here's the cyclamen in the sun room that I meant to post last time.