Sometime yesterday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. I lost my winter attitude! It was exactly the same temperature when I went to work as when I exited my building at the end of the day. I had on the same clothes, wore the same jacket. But on the way home and doing errands I was COLD. I turned up the heater in the car, rubbed my hands together and even sat on my hands at one stoplight. I’m afraid it’s going to be a long winter for me this year.
What’s your favorite way to keep warm?
There was a beautiful full moon last night-The Hunter’s Moon. It is the second full moon of autumn, and was named by the Algonquin tribes as the moon for the time to go hunting and prepare for winter. The sky was quite clear and the moon was huge as I drove home from work at 7:00. It had an orange tint. The night before last it was almost full, and there were wavy wisps of clouds in front of the moon, making it look like the perfect backdrop for a a witch on a broom.
Tell about all the books, plays, stories, poems, and music you know of that are concerned with the moon. What are your own moon stories? Why is the moon so inspiring?
My father’s extended family hails from the north woods, so even though I grew up in St. Louis, I experienced the Minnesota/Wisconsin climate from an early age. When it was time to look at colleges I announced to my parents that I would only go to a college in Minnesota or Wisconsin. When college/grad school was over for me and wasband, we hightailed it to the Twin Cities. I’ve been here every since.
This morning, I noticed it was snowing at about 8 a.m. and my mood jumped up a couple of notches just seeing it. I love snow and cold. Spring, summer and autumn are nice but winter is my season of choice. I love visiting tropical locales but I don’t think I would happy in a place that didn’t have winter.
I took pictures all morning and even though I knew that snow in mid-October wouldn’t last, I was a little wistful when it stopped around noon.
Of course, this is seriously early for snow, so I didn’t start pulling out big sweaters and coats just yet. And I still wore my zorries to the gym and the grocery store!
What is your favorite seasonal transition? Have you transitioned to your winter clothes yet?
I am always amazed at the deceitfulness of people who sell plants through catalogs and greenhouses. It is easy to be fooled into buying plants that just won’t work in your climate zone if you don’t know your flora. The most recent scam up here is the marketing of hydrangea macrophllya, a group of hydrangeas that just won’t grow here but are probably the prettiest ones for stunning shades of pink and blue. They are tempting, but it is just too cold here, and unless you are prepared to mulch pretty heavily in the winter, they just won’t do much after the first year. We have tremendous luck with hydrangea arborescens (the big, white, poofy ones) and hydrangea paniculata (ones with pointy flowers that often turn pink at the end of summer).
Hybrid tea roses were marketed for years as good to zone 4, but now are sold with the disclaimer that they are only good to zone 5. They really only do well here if you cap them with rose cones in the fall and mulch heavily. We used to have lots of tea roses, but we got pretty tired of all the fuss. We planted Morden roses from Manitoba instead. They are very cold hardy. We have a few hybrid teas in the yard that do well since we seem to have created a micro-climate in the yard with shrubs and fences that keeps temperatures a little warmer than in other parts of the yard. The pictures below show a hybrid tea we never cap or mulch that comes back every year and is a really stunner.
A couple of years ago we bought two Morden roses that were supposed to be only four feet tall at the most. One turned out to be a climbing rose that had multiple, six foot long branches. It was not labeled as a climbing rose. It was in a part of the yard that wouldn’t have supported a trellis, so it flopped around and got tangled in everything around it. It mercifully died last winter so we dug it up, providing room for one nearby that we assumed was a four feet tall rose as it had been labeled. As you can see in the next photo, it, too, is starting to act like something else.
It is a little hard to see, but the rose put out a couple of stems that were at least seven feet tall. Husband cut them off after I took the photo. I hope this was just a fluke. I just don’t know who in the plant world to trust anymore.
Who do you trust? When have you had something that didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to? When has a plant fooled you?
Where is VS? Give me three clues to a place you’d like to visit!
Twice on the way home I had to pull over; the rain was just too much. Made me think of the Carolinas, and of Bill Cosby’s Noah. Let’s say you get your own Ark. Enough cubits to be comfortable – size of a hotel room. You have one day to pack.
What goes with you on your Ark?
As this is published, Hurricane Florence is taking out her wrath on the southeast coast. I don’t know anyone named Florence, but I do know a Maria, a Katrina, a Sandy, a Patricia and a Rita – all big hurricanes in the last ten years. None of these folks are all that thrilled about having their name attached to a nasty hurricane. I realize that with an unusual name I probably will never have to worry about this happening to me!
What would you like to be named after you? And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest.