Category Archives: Weather

As the Seasons Turn

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?

Truth in Advertising

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?

Posterity

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.

After the Ball Was Over

I scrubbed off all my temporary tattoos tonight. It’s official – the State Fair is over.

Most people I know don’t understand my love affair with the Great Minnesota Get Together and to be honest, it occasionally mystifies me a bit. But one of the things I do know is that I love getting temporary tattoos at the Fair.  I got nine this year over my four days of attendance –   3 from the airbrush tattoo guy, 2 from Kemps, 2 from the AG building, 1 from the lamb building and my favorite, one of the emerald ash borer.  There was a young man dressed up as an emerald ash borer at the DNR booth, trying to engage people about this new threat to ash trees and I felt sorry for him so I let him put his temporary tattoo alongside my others.

The airbrushed tattoos wear off the soonest (which is truly irritating, since they cost money) but over a week later, my free ones were still going strong. Every day last week I had to explain them at least twice a day to one or the other of my co-workers and today my book club members (my OTHER book club) wanted a full run down.  It’s been my way of extending the Fair – however tentatively.

But tonight when I was closing a couple of windows (because it’s been getting chilly at night) I realized that it’s time to let this year Fair go and start dreaming of next year.

Do you have a tattoo? If you were to get one, what would you get?

 

 

 

 

 

Attack of the Acorns

It was a hot day, sunny with a bit of a breeze. The big pavilion next to Sea Salt was blocked for a family gathering and all the nearby tables, even the ones with no shade, were filled up.  We had a tablecloth that we could have spread out on the ground but we thought it would end up being a re-telling of The Princess & the Pea.  A little ways off we could see what looked like some empty picnic tables, in the shade no less, so we trooped over.

Minnehaha Park is heavily forested with oak trees. None of them are famous (although there are plenty of famous oak trees if you believe the internet) but they provided a nice, cool bit of shade.  We settled in and then fairly quickly realized why no one else had claimed the spot.

Acorns are oak nuts; they usually contain just one seed and can take between 6 to 24 months to mature before they can sprout into an oak tree. All I can say is that the acorns in the oak trees above us were ready to go.  The terminal velocity of a falling acorn from a tall 40-foot tree is 22 miles per hour.  Most of the acorns didn’t hit us directly, but they made a whooping loud noise when they hit books, plates, phones and the tables themselves.  Even though we stayed for a couple of hours, when we got up to leave we felt like we were fleeing from a dangerous situation.

When did you first fall in love?