Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here after rather a long absence just to say that we’re still around. You may remember me from such posts as “Selling Insurance”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. Hardly anything has been happening here, which should explain the title of my post. It hasn’t been terribly cold, but not terribly warm, either. There was some wind, which the guy I live with said was weird, but also nice, and “Like the old days”, which I guess means way before I was born.
We mostly do just sit here. I go on walks, and the guy I live with cooks stuff, and activities like that, but mostly it’s nothing, which really is not bad at all.
In the evening we listen to music (at least he does); he sits on the couch with me. I usually drift off. We do go outside sometimes, though there isn’t much going on. The ice and snow is still here. Some of it was from the last week in October. This is not anywhere near like our “normal” winter weather, but it’s what we have now.
This is me surveying things. Sometimes there are things that need to be surveyed, and I’m the one to do it. I guess it’s kind of dreary. The soil is frozen, which I understand is not good at all; the cyclamen are certainly suffering. I know because I hear about it. I guess dreary really is the right word. Some of the little cactuses that the guy I live with grew from seed died after it got cold in October, even though they made it through the last couple of winters, but some others are still fine. They’re about the size of golf balls.
I forget if I told the story of all these seedlings, how he had like six hundred of them, and transplanted them into pure sand, then watered them, and they almost all died. (The water wicked back up into the pots.) These were the only ones that survived.
That was a while ago. I’m not sure why he doesn’t just give up; I think I would. You can see here that Sternbergia lutea is not suffering from frozen soil.
It’s true that there are some snowdrops in flower in the frames. They’re hard to photograph, I guess, so you’ll just have to trust me. He goes out to look at the pots in the frames, which are “plunged” into ordinary garden soil.
There are some pots in which there are no snowdrops up, and there was a lot of discussion about this (he talks to himself, and to me, but I don’t know anything about snowdrops), and also a lot of digging around in the pots to try to figure out why some were up and some weren’t. He discovered that in the pots where snowdrops were up, the soil wasn’t frozen, and in pots where the soil was frozen, it was because the soil mix in the pots had what he calls “store bought gunk” in it. Stuff he bought that came in bags. His definition of gunk.
The pots where snowdrops are up, and some in flower, are ordinary garden soil, with some sand mixed in. No gunk.
You know, like the stuff you buy that’s called “compost” or “top soil”. It may be good for regular garden plants, but in cases where you need plants to grow and flower in winter, not good at all. It holds water which then freezes.
There are also some snowdrops which normally flower in November that aren’t even up yet, though they’re alive (he checked, by digging around). He said it might be because of where they are in the frames; they got too cold in October.
So, that’s the snowdrop story.
The guy I live with took a bunch of pictures of the hens and chicks in pots, because he likes the way they look in the winter. Maybe you will, too.
These are phone pictures and not super-focused, though they looked sharper before they were uploaded. It’s a mystery. There are some crocuses which look like they’re about to flower but I think they froze and are just standing there. Sometimes they do flower at this time of year if it’s warm enough, and if the soil isn’t frozen. (I keep hearing this refrain about frozen soil.)That’s pretty much it, though I suppose I should show owl pictures. We saw him today on our walk. His mate is in the tree next door but we didn’t see her. Forgot to look. The guy I live with said he finally figured out what was with the left eye. “Sleeping with one eye open”, he said.
So that really is a thing.
Until next time, then.