Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

But here in the Pacific Northwest, everything else does.

When I posted this photo of the patio, Gigi asked if that was moss growing on the pavers.
Yep.  Well, in this case it might be algae, but green stuff none-the-less.
 Moss is everywhere here in our wet winters.  Moss on the gravel.
                            Moss on the trees.

                                Moss on the homes of the birds and the bees.
                                Moss in the lawn.
                                                      Moss on the path.

                         Moss is a carpet in the secret garden.
                                Moss high and low.

                       Moss adorning the lantern chapeau.
                                                            Moss on rocks
                                                    and on the front steps.
                             Even moss in the driveway.

In fact, around here you need to keep moving, like a rolling stone, so the moss doesn't grow between your toes.

                                Better watch out, Josy.

Monday, January 30, 2012


The weather changes have created some camera fun. 

Roses don't really bloom well in winter, but they keep trying.  
                                       In snow,

                                                                  In ice,
                                                           and in cold sun.

 Daily weather changes impact our daily plans.

 I got more debris picked up this morning, down to the last layer of ice.  
 Tom worked on into the afternoon, while I finally got in an aerobic walk.  That pile is getting smaller.
 Here in the Pacific Northwest, winter doesn't prevent spring from getting ready to transition.  Bulbs are emerging.

 Hellebore will be blooming soon.

 The witch hazel is in full bloom.

And Josy has moved from one cozy spot to another.  She's keeping me company in the chair beside me, which works a little better when I'm typing than on my lap.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rainy Day

The good thing about a rainy day is that we get to take the day off.

 Well, sort of.  We did clean house this morning and I did some grocery shopping. But we had a rest day from the hard physical labor we'd been doing with the yard clean up. Then this afternoon we ran away for a while and checked out a large antique mall near Tacoma.

After about two and a half hours of browsing, we departed with a few treasures, and debriefed at a nearby Starbucks over lattes and a goody.  I managed to resist the really caloric things and settled on a biscotti with my coffee.

Now we're back home and getting settled in for the evening.  We'll have some TV to entertain us.  And Josy is happy to see us.

Josy, would you like to go outside?
No thanks.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Clean Up

With the end of the rain late this week, it was time to get outside and begin the clean up process.

On Thursday we cleaned up the driveway.  There is still a pile of old snow from where Tom shoveled us out a week ago.  I raked up all of the debris and Tom ran it through the composter shredder.

 There is still on patch of debris encrusted with ice and a pile of "logs".
 Friday morning we were able to squeeze in about two and a half hours of work in the back yard.

As you can see, the sky is blue, but it's just barely above freezing.  I'm not sure how we're going to get that 'widow maker' - that hanging limb, out of the fir tree.
 Ice storms are very hard on Madrona trees because they are broad leaf evergreens, with brittle limbs.  We lost the whole tops out of two smaller trees, and a bunch of limbs out of a large tree.  We had to fetch some out of the neighbors yard.  This pile awaits the chain saw, the lopping shears, and the shredder.
 I got the lawn raked
 and most of the beds cleaned up.
 We have a huge mound of limbs to deal with, some very large.

 Under this large fir is a mass of debris, layered with ice.  When branches covered with ice snap, the ice rips all of the foliage off as it falls, leaving piles of small branches.
 We got everything else picked up and added to the pile, and I got a start on this mess before we ran out of time.
 Josy preferred to admire the sunny day from inside.  She goes outside on her own, but I guess she doesn't trust me since I scooped her up and hauled her outside a couple of times.  As soon as she was free she dashed back in through her cat door.

Today, Saturday, we got kind of a slow start, but were outside working by 10:30.  We took an hour lunch break and then worked until almost 5:00.

Tom began shredding the debris pile.
 I tackled the mess under the tall fir tree.  Lots of large limbs, ice and snow had come down, crushing shrubs.  We were planning to do some pruning on this acuba this year, but not quite this drastically.

 As I filled bins and hauled them to the pile, Tom kept up with me so that at least the pile didn't grow.  The shredded material was used as mulch under the hedge, and then as dressing for the garden path.
 I picked up all I could, getting down to the ice layer.  The rest will have to wait for the thaw.  Tom managed to reduce the size of the pile a bit more before we called it a day and drug our weary bodies into the house.
 There we found Josy quite comfortable, thank you.
FYI:  Son Jake has been teasing me about not including photos of the cat, his cat, in my blogs.  So from now on, you may see her quite often.