Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

>Global warming

January 10, 2011

>Today is a drippy, slushy day in Bessemer Alabama.

It’s a perfect day to look for evidence of global warming.

Let’s go outside.

Here some ice has collected on a pine tree. Much more of this, and the power would have gone out, causing me to miss the BCS Championship Game and Auburn playing tonight.

War Eagle!!! We are still keeping our fingers crossed (both regarding power…and the game).

Here a holly tree and its berries are cased in ice. The cedar waxwings will take care of these berries, at some point.

This crepe myrtle has a layer of ice on it. This reminds me of northern friends in Pennsylvania who tell me that they can grow crepe myrtles without having to protect them in winter like they used to have to.

These wisteria vines, which I will be fighting again this year, are covered in ice.

Here are some chilled, frosted rose hips.

How about the camellias. There are several varieties on the property, and some begin blooming in late fall. This one has been blooming for weeks. These blooms will be damaged by the ice, but more will open later in the week or next week.

Ah ha! Here is my evidence.

This camellia normally blooms before Christmas. I have taken pictures of its flowers in the past in December, and have used the flowers in decorating for our Christmas Party, during the first two weeks of December.

This year, this is the first bloom on the plant, and today is January 10. There are lots of buds, so I will be enjoying this plant throughout the month and in to February, most likely.

But why is it a month late blooming?

I am not a camellia expert. I wish I knew one who could come visit and identify the dozen or so varieties that we have. But I would assume that the winter blooming camellia buds enlarge and finally open in response to low or falling temperatures. The plant may have perceived warmer temperatures in the late fall, and responded by delaying blooming.

That is the, although anecdotal and without proof, evidence for global warming I was looking for.

Winter days like today make me think of Tasha Tudor and her book, Tasha Tudor’s Garden, my favorite garden book. In it she describes her garden in every season, and pictures accompany the descriptions.

If I were to write such a book, I would include this picture. There’s just something about evergreens and ice.

Enjoy this cold, wet, beautiful, winter day in the south.

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>Gardening in the Winter

January 9, 2009

>With unemployment topping 7% and Israel continuing its shameful assault on human rights (and ignoring U. N. pleas to STOP!), I’ve decided to ignore the bad news and just post some pictures from the garden.

Technically, the land around our home could scarcely be considered a garden right now, as the fall chores of cleaning the flower beds and such has been delayed. But my laziness regarding the gardens did not stop the blooms from appearing.

See, I don’t look at my garden as just something to enjoy in the spring and summer. Plants are beautiful even in hibernation. The forms and shadows of stems and branches can be interesting, as well as trunks and bark of plants like crepe myrtle.

But those things are difficult to capture in photographs that look good on a blog, so I am going to stick to what is blooming.

Blooming in January? Why sure. Let’s start with Camellia’s. There are one or more varieties blooming all winter. Sure, a hard freeze will knock them back, turning the blooms brown, but there always seems to be an abundance of buds, the tender petals protected by the tight thick sepals waiting to open after the frost.

I do not know the names of any of these camellias. They were all here when I moved here. Some of the shrubs are approaching 15 feet tall with a spread just as big.

This plant is about 12 feet tall and was covered with blooms a couple of weeks ago. A freeze turned them all brown, see in the background, but now new flowers are opening.

This white camellia blooms all winter. I know this, because it it is blooming now, in January, and when we first looked at this house, in March 2000, it was blooming and the owner picked a flower and gave to my daughter, who was 13 at the time.


This pink flower is one of my favorites, because it is so “flower-like” in appearance. It has so many petals and they just layer perfectly. I will probably post another picture from this plant when I get one that shows the perfection.

This is my absolute favorite. This shrub was cut back severely when the house was being painted a couple of years ago, and last year it just had a few blooms. This year it has recovered and is covered in red and white flowers that arrive each year just in time for Christmas.


And blooms continue indoors on the geraniums that I brought in. They bloom all winter, although not in the abundance that they do outdoors in the summer.


The vegetable garden was somewhat neglected in the late fall also, so the collard plants were not pulled up. Now they are producing new leaves, and without the bugs that lunched on them during last year. These are going to be good. How about some fresh collards on Super Bowl Sunday?

It’s much easier taking pictures than getting down on my knees and cleaning the gardens out. My “rule” is that days over 50 with no wind, or days over 60 even with wind, are good gardening days. But, those rules do not take effect until all the Christmas decorations are taken down. There are still three trees to go.

December in the Mountains

December 19, 2007

I hear that some right wingers are not pleased with my past column in the Western Tribune, as reflected in letters they wrote. I guess hearing the truth is painful. I will read them when we get home.

Where in the world are we?

No fair guessing if you already know the answer. Anyone been here?

Here is another clue. This will give it away to anyone that has visited this place.

What does the snow in this stump remind you of?

Finally, decode the Christmas message in this photo, taken about three blocks from where we are staying.

>December in the Mountains

December 19, 2007

>I hear that some right wingers are not pleased with my past column in the Western Tribune, as reflected in letters they wrote. I guess hearing the truth is painful. I will read them when we get home.

Where in the world are we?

No fair guessing if you already know the answer. Anyone been here?

Here is another clue. This will give it away to anyone that has visited this place.

What does the snow in this stump remind you of?

Finally, decode the Christmas message in this photo, taken about three blocks from where we are staying.