Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Feels like spring

I just put in 4 new perennials (3 red cardinal flower, next to the fence and bench), so lets hope we don't have any more nights in the teens!

We have bluebirds back in the yard, and the goldfinches are bright yellow again. Things are still behind a bit --the daffodils and tulips are up but not blooming; all I have are crocus's, blue squill, and glory of the snow. And the two snowdrops the squirrels haven't eaten. I'm always a bit disappointed in the spring if I didn't plant any new bulbs in the fall, so this spring I'm a bit disappointed :-) They say it might be 70 degrees tomorrow. The river has completely sprung it's banks --right now you can only tell where the river bed is supposed to be by the tree lines. All the fields surrounding the river are completely under water. It's kind of cool.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

In the garden

Today, after church, I finally got the obedient plant dug up and threw it in the compost. Amazingly misnamed, and a wretched plant. I actually have a pink one, with variegated foliage, but it's not very prolific or strong. It is actually coming back as a handful of growing tips this year, which it didn't do last year, so maybe it will be better. But it's nice to have the white one gone.

I didn't get the big sedum split though. Another day.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sunshine on the ground

Yesterday was that back-end-of-the-low kind of day --cold northwest winds after storms the day before with a low pressure system. However, a small patch of yellow crocus bloomed in the back garden --a little patch of sunshine back there. It's supposed to keep warming, so the daffodils and tulips should start shooting up this week.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Rain, rain, flooding.

The river is very high! And we might get 2 inches today. At least it's rain, and not snow :-)

I keep walking around the garden, so I see each millimeter that the crocus's have grown in the past day --I love to do this, even though there are only tiny changes. I find it very exciting to see the first tips, then the yellow and purple flower tips, and there always seem to be things coming up that I can't remember. This fall I need to plant more bulbs, actually. I should have done this in the new part of the garden last fall, because it's much easier to get the bulbs in when there are no perennials yet. But there should still be room.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cleaning up

Well, we've had two warmish days (50 - 52 degrees) and that meant we had to get out into the garden --it's like there's a magnet out there, pulling you outside after such a long winter. I got some of last years plants cut down, and I managed to prune the wild rose a bit. There's more to do, but it's fun to do it slowly.

So far we have four purple crocus blooming in the east bed --always the first. There are crocus just showing their shoots in the birch bed, but that's about it. The back bed is still soaking wet and half frozen --it's in shade a lot this time of year, so it always takes it awhile to warm up.

Tomorrow we're expecting freezing rain and more snow --ah, March, the cruelest month!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring snowstorm :-(

Yesterday we got 5 inches of snow. It is melting, but I'm just tired of winter. The robins are back in hiding, and the goldfinches and cardinals are permanently perched on the feeders, trying to stay warm and fed.

I've just ordered a couple more plants for the garden, and Rob brought home some flowers from the grocery store. We all want spring.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring, spring, spring!

Finally, a robin in my own backyard. March 17th is pretty late, but maybe that means spring will hurry.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

No sign of spring yet.

It is March 13th. The snow pack (ice-pack, really) is slowly melting, but there is enough left to keep the air chilly. In previous years I've seen robins by now, and red-winged blackbirds, but no sign of either yet. If we could get rid of this ice, then the ground might warm enough to provide bugs and worms as robin food.

Still, it shouldn't be long now. It's been in the 40's the last few days. It's supposed to go back into the 30's for highs over the weekend, but we're also expecting a fairly large rain event. Perhaps that will get rid of the last of this ice.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

Today I helped out at my daughter's Valentine's party. Wow, I could not teach that age. I am wiped out from just spending the afternoon with all that energy! She has great teachers -- I don't know how they manage. What feels like 50 million kids asking questions all the time. Phew!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Weather geek

I'm a weather geek, and as such I belong to several different weather related communities, and I read and comment on a local weather site blog.

What an interesting cross section of humanity you find on the internet. Everything's so anonymous, and I'm no exception --I'm mostly a lurker on the local weather blog, just adding a comment here or there, and of course not under my own name. My profile isn't any more specific there than it is here.

The other weather geeks are interesting, and some of them are much more geeky than I am. A couple are teenage boys (based on their profiles), and they contribute a lot of comments. Lots. They appear to be in high school (based on comments they make about hoping for snow days so school will be closed) and although they are very interested in the weather, they don't seem to have picked up much actual information. Still, you have to admire their enthusiasm --maybe they'll grow up to be meteorologists.

Then there are the people who are constantly questioning the forecast. As if the forecasters are going to update it every ten minutes. "Hey, are you still calling for 3 - 6 inches of snow? Or has that changed?" in the last 15 minutes. I think it might just be an urge to comment, without really having anything to say.

There's one guy who posts comments in all caps. He's shouting at the weather forecasters. HEY GUYS, HOW COME WE DIDN'T GET EXACTLY THE AMOUNT OF SNOW YOU FORECASTED? One of them wrote back "Patience." The guy doesn't need patience, he needs a brain. Or maybe he just needs to learn how to type.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thinking spring

Today our high temp was in the negative numbers.  I didn't have to step outside all day, thank god.  It's strange out here on the prairie --all that wind, all that cold.  

The birch garden still looks nice, though, half buried in the snow.  There are some tall grasses that look so pretty blowing around out there, and sedum seed heads standing up strong and dark.
The birds are pretty amazing right now too --you can see them so much more with the white snow as a background --cardinals, juncos, and our huge community of goldfinches who are fed so well here they never leave.  I was looking at the long shadows of the white pines today.  It always amazes me how much the shadows change between winter and summer.  

Today is my mom's birthday, and she always says spring should start now.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pissy students

This is going to be a bad semester --I can tell.  How is it that students who can figure out how to chat, do email, and send pictures, all on a cell phone, can't figure out how to navigate a very straight forward course management system?  Did they really miss the neon navigation bar on the left of the page?!  Or did they just not care?  Why are they paying for this class?

Did they really think they could just casually read a chapter and then pass a test on that material?  Have they never had a serious class in their lives?

Sorry, ranting.  But really, why are students taking this class?  It's not required.  Did they think it would be easy?  And of course, it's only the bad ones that stick out.  I certainly have some good students as well --they just don't bother me. 

All right:  a good one.  There is one student who has read and followed all instructions, posts things correctly and on time, reads the announcements and does a good job on the exams.  It's actually students like that who help me to realize that the class is navigable, that I'm not asking students to do something impossible.  Come to think of it, there are two of them, and one even asked about the discussion question before it was posted so he'd be able to manage his time.  See, I just have to keep thinking about them.