I couldn't stand it anymore. The temperatures were falling after the high we
had of 35o F. Tonight is going to be bitter, as the clouds are drifting
eastwards after yesterday start of intense fogs, misty rains mingled in with
some downpours. With all the humidity, and the temperatures dropping to 28o
last night, you FELT the cold.
I was standing watching the little flying dinosaurs flinging chaff to the
ground to be scratched thru by the ground birds. Six kinds of finches on the
thistle socks, nuthatches, chickadee's, a rosy finch, gold finches,
bluebirds as tiny as the largest one of them, white and black ones with
yellow on their wings like sergeant's stripes, two kinds of smaller
woodpeckers, bluebirds trying to thug their way to the seeds but the sheer
numbers of the finches and oh the cardinals! kept them scolding and
rowdying above the horde from the Pawlonia branches.
Cardinals, screaming scarlet males with dark markings watching over the
hens. We counted at least seven pairs of them. Even in the cold, the hens
were beautiful with their buff and soft rose reds.
I went to the front door that I keep open for the added light and was
looking for signs of emergence. I couldn't stand it anymore. Sugar was
whining at me to please let her go outside, so I grabbed up my soft hat and
fuzzy jacket and looked for the digital camera to shove in my pocket. We
headed out the nook door, leaving Rose asleep in Squire's reclining chair
snoring, twitching and woofing in her sleep. As soon as the screen door
popped, we heard her bark awake and realize we'd left her behind to go
outside. It was funny to see Sugar head right back to the cat window and
stick her head INSIDE where her and Rose usually look OUTSIDE and sniff the
air. It was as if she were trying to console or ridicule Rose because she
got to go out and she was asleep and missed out this time.
I stopped at the Cornelian Cherry tree. My little twig leaf dogwood, so
loaded in buds for late winter it's all knotty looking. I can't wait to see
this tree with some maturity on it. Already at a tender 8 years it wow's
me. I sucked in my breath.....little glimpses of sulphur yellow poking out
of rosy folds of the perfectly round buds tucked at every twig juncture.
The fairies have been busy despite the frigid temperatures lately. I took a
couple of pictures up close of the emerging buds. I'm not sure they'll turn
out. My fingers were getting numb.
In amongst the brown of the previous summer's growth I saw green tongues
poking tentatively out of the ground, almost as if tasting the cold air for
signs of temper and welcome. Sugar was sniffing around when I spotted the
purple-green rosettes of my sempervivums in the hanging spagatti strainer,
in the various pots all giggling in the cold, waiting for spring's warmth to
allow them to take a breath and open their little jagged succulent leaves
more and grow.
I was shocked that the cobweb hens and chicks I'd bought in the cactus
section of work were actually thriving. Just a little bit of frozen damage
to the outer leaves was the only sign of stress, but tucked inside that was
green and viable tight leaves waiting for true warmth.
Everywhere, sharp little tongues of irises shouldering the brown leaves
aside to claim as much sunlight as they could get. Tiny little razor blade
green shoots, no more than an inch tall in some places. And everywhere the
glossy, obscene green of the vinca major. I swear this stuff grows in the
winter cold!! I see wherew I could pull up at least a garden cart of it and
still leave some behind for the effect the blue flowers have on me. I am
tucking in every piece I pull up under the outside edges of the black cherry
bed to ramble where they want to. I know I'd regret it but I'm actually
thinking of tucking some under the mulberry stump on the northeast corner of
the carport near the first drop off to our woods. Let it tangle and fight
the poison oak and ivy..........
In a broken pot I planted with a yarrow, tiny, miniature ferns of the new
growth sit all blotchy purple green and waiting. Next to it, a Commander
Hay hens and chicks with a great round, purplish globe of artichoke like
leaves sitting quietly until spring where it will attempt again to grow a
chick to replace it.
The winds were cutting thru the jacket, and I scanned other area's quickly
and was pleased and dismayed to see the Eye of the tiger iris leaves were up
even more than last time, and tucked amongst them were the ferny threads of
Light was fading fast and my fingers were more numb than I wished, my gloves
being inside the pockets of my down coat in the house......so I took one
more picture and called Sugar to follow me back inside. She was most
obliging. One last look at the dark green palmate leaves like green fingers
splayed outwards of the Hellebore's underneath the narrow walkway towards my
nook, lighter, more tender green baby leaves with promises of flower stalks
hidden still shining up at me as I hurriedly pulled open the screen door and
Sugar darted between my legs and into Rose's face and chest. Warm air
rushed to greet my face and here I am. The pictures are about to be
downloaded into my Paint Shop Pro program and if they're worthy, I'll keep
them in the file where all my photo's live until I can put them on a disc to
I'm already getting a bit of spring fever in this early part of winter, but
given a bit of time, the Cornelian cherry tree, crocus, and Helebore will
satiate me until true spring rears her head for another year.
Thanks for letting me ramble a bit today, I look forward to hearing from you
about your little pieces of paradise wherever you are, be it a container
garden, rooftop garden or a real tropical garden. They're all our little
pieces of nature and wonder no matter how large or small.
The soft gray of evening's dusk has just lit the dark branches of my black
cherry tree in the eastern window of my nook and the glow of sunset has lit
the cacti in the north room from the western window. I'm sure the little
fairies are all tucked under leaves and mosses for the bitter night ahead.
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking a sunset lit
English Mountain, in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36