Saturday, 7 February 2015

February Frosty Days and Clear Skies

Gentle Reader ~~~ It has been a while since I wrote here for I have issues, yet again, with the computer.  I have been totally locked out of Facebook for what now seems ages, but I think about a fortnight in reality. I have no idea what is going on, I cannot access my account,so I cannot write anything on the garden page, although I'm told it is still there.  Strangely, though, I am not missing Facebook in the slightest, but at least you know why I am not there now.

I don't know about you, but I find February one of the more confusing months.  I find it a slow month, a grey month, a hard~to~get~going again month. I suffer from mild SAD and February is often my worst month for this and I do my best to overcome the trials of the dark days. Winter is half way through, and it's teeth grip ferociously across the much of northern hemisphere; many of us shiver while the days start to lengthen and we look forward to the returning light and some warmth.  Yet, while I long for longer, lighter and brighter, warmer days ahead, I dread the very thought of the scorching heat of Summer, and part of me clings madly to the cold days of now. I wish we had snow. Snow would make Winter perfect. We seldom have snow here in the west.  I am reading all your lovely journals sharing your snow adventures and photographs, while I sit here with temperatures outside my window at a balmy 36F average!  I know many of you have had more than enough snow, with blizzards and thundersnow, and more, but I long for snow, my heart yearns for snow, but not a flake has fallen from the sky.  Instead, we have had sleesh ~ this is my new word for that horrible wet not~quite~hail and not~quite~sleet stuff that falls and leaves the ground a sloshy sloppy slippy mess. We have had wind, seventy mile an hour winds, and it brought down my television aerial! Thankfully, that was all and no damage was done, and it is fixed again.

Thinking ahead to those lighter and brighter days, Spring Cleaning continues in the cottage albeit slowly!  I find it just a tad too chilly to go and dig the claggy wet soil in the garden at the moment so I am making the most of days spent inside before the garden really starts to call, to clear the cupboards and drawers of things no longer needed. Many bags have gone to the thrift store, mostly to the Red Cross as they collect everything in one go from the cottage saving me a lot of trips.

The wicked winds have mostly dropped and the skies, by day, are mostly clear and blue with promises of Spring around the corner. We did wake up to a light frost the other morning, so I was able to nip out and take a few quick photographs ~~~

This tiny leaf was about the size of a 10p piece, maybe just a little smaller ~~~ so pretty with it's crystal edging of ice ~~~





This is a frost covered mullein plant ~~~ the fuzzy wuzzy hairy leaves look so different now ~~~



I love the light dusting on this leaf, it looks like a delicate mosaic ~~~



Even the lid of the compost bin took on some extra dimension! ~~~



I love walking out in the countryside, especially at this time of year when the leaves are gone and all we see are the skeletal structures of the trees in winter ~~~ here are a couple of my favourites ~~~
The trunk of this one is covered with ivy! ~~~





Moss covered stones bring colour and scatter the ivy covered floor ~~~



I love the different textures when you look closely at the fuzzy moss and the shiny smooth penny wort leaves ~~~



The first early snowdrops of winter ~~~



Clear, cloudless days give way to clear, cloudless twilight evenings and stars twinkle brightly in the darkening blue sky ~~~ this is Venus in the south western evening sky, the brightest star at the moment ~~~




In November ~ oh! how long ago that now seems ~ I planted some onions which I hope to harvest in the late Spring or early Summer ~~~ here they are in December and soon I will be showing you how much they have grown ~~~



I had to put down lots of string, tied across the frames to keep marauding cats and pigeons away! ~~~



I also planted garlic, and it is such a thrill to see the first sight of buds pushing their flavoursome shoots through the soil ~~~



They have even kept growing in the cold ~~~



February has seen me starting to eat more responsibly and sensibly than I have done in recent years.  I do not diet.  Diet is what we eat, not something we do. Here is a typical evening plate of delicious food ~ oven roasted parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, and onions with some spicy baked tofu cubes served on a bed of blanched kale.  Kale is one of my most favourite vegetables.  I am a vegetarian, but a recent health scare made me take a long look at what I eat and how I cook and prepare my food, so I have made some radical changes.  The hardest part was getting through Christmas and January with all the Christmas gifts of chocolate and left overs to deal with!  I have slowly introduced some changes, but this last week has seen me embrace the transition completely.  I have taken on a 'one meal at a time' approach which works for me. I am really enjoying my food.  I have already lost a few pounds and I have a lot more energy, which is a bonus as I find February is the month I seem to have the least energy of all the year. 




Soon, I will be outside working.  The Community Recycling scheme starts on March 12th and I think my bin will be full to overflowing by then!  It is only a month away now and that time will fly by, as January is already gone! I can scarce believe that, can you?

Until next time, when I shall have more photographs of the progress of the onions and garlic, and hopefully be able to outline some of my plans for 2015, remember that ~~~

~~~A Gardener's Work is Never Done~~~

23 comments:

  1. I loved seeing all those frost tipped leaves, so pretty.
    Kale is full of iron which I need so a wonderful vegetable.
    Lovely to see your post in my side bar.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Michelle ~
      yes, iron is vital! Kale is a great way to get some. My iron levels were abysmal until I became a vegetarian, believe it or not! ~~~Deb

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  2. I love the fourth leaf mosaic photo

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  3. Such a lovely walk through the countryside, Deb! The moss covered stones and snowdrops are a sure sign that spring is coming. It's so nice to see your garden growing. My garden is still buried under a deep blanket of snow after last weekend's blizzard. Kale is one of my favorites, too! Our fridge is also stocked with healthy veggies. The gift of good health is so important! Sending snowflakes… especially for you! ♡

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    1. Thank you for the snowflakes especially for me, sweet friend! My plan for 2015 is to be able to grow all of the vegetables in that bowl myself! ~~~Deb

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  4. A fascinating journal entry. I have been wondering how you are. Your frost creates such creative designs on everything it touches. Your writing is so clear. I feel as if I am walking along with you enjoying the beauty around us. I applaud your house cleaning efforts. I did that in depth a couple of years ago, and it felt so good once I was finished. "Diet is what we eat, not something we do". I love that and feel the same way, too. I am taking a 20 day "sabbatical" from Facebook in order to jump start two projects -- one personal and one for our art business. I am eagerly looking forward to the quiet and in depth thinking unencumbered, without technology! I am expecting to accomplish a great deal. I also hope to use some of the time to write some "real" pen to paper letters! So good to hear from you. Jane, across the Pond. xo

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    1. yes, I am around Jane, but do not plan an imminent return to Facebook. Social Media truly does get in the way of life! Enjoy your twenty day break and I hope you accomplish your goals. ~~~Deb

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  5. Deb, It's so good to hear from you. I too am becoming weary of winter. So much so, I told my husband that I needed to get out today. We just took a quick drive to the mountains and I feel much better now! Vitamin D helps with SAD if you want to give it a try.
    As always your photos are wonderful. I'm still working on that with my camera. I especially love the snow drops blooming. I thought at first that your purple banner across your photos were flowers blooming! Can you tell I'm ready for spring? Take care and enjoy those great veggies! ♥

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    1. Hello Martha Ellen ~ I have tried most things for the SAD and find that light therapy, exercise, and healthy eating are the best combatants. Hahaha! Yes, my little copyright statement often catches me unaware too! ~~~Deb

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  6. Your photos are so pretty dear Debs!... love the snowdrops... I'm sorry you have SAD in February... here, it is one of the loveliest months heralding Spring... our days and have sunny and warm and I have been out in my gardens... and planning what to plant soon... your dinner looks delish!... I never say diet, it is a bad word at our house, and like you said, not something we do... we eat healthy and I LOVE veggies too!... looking forward to your next post and more lovely photos... much love, xoxo... Julie Marie

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    1. Hello Dear Julie Marie ~ thank you for your kind words, and I must admit to a twinge of garden envy here, although very soon, maybe a week or two, and I shall be out there dead heading and making a start ~ the best therapy in the world, except once I start I can't bear to stop. ~~~Deb

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  7. I'm so glad you were able to get a post published. I know you have been having so much trouble.
    The photos are great, I think I am partial to the first one. I am glad to see your garlic taking off. I think you will have a good crop, despite the rain.

    Congrats on the weight loss! I know how hard that is, especially at this time of the year. I find it a hard month, too. I wish you some snow! I am tired of what we have...and we have more coming.

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    1. There you are! Hello Dear Friend! I'm so sorry to hear you have more of the same coming. Oddly, even when I lived in Iceland and we had well over six months of snow each year, I *never* tired of it, not for the whole four years! Sorry ~ ducking ~ incoming ~ lol
      Hoping the garlic has survived a recent little incident, of which I shall tell later! ~~~Deb

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  8. Hi Deb's,
    I so enjoy your posts. The pictures are just lovely. While we do not have snow, our weather has been all over the map and the wind keeps me indoors. I also am decluttering and organizing, it seems to be everyone's resolution this year. Looking forward to getting outside and getting my hands dirty! Happy February....spring is on it's way.
    Love from West Texas,
    Chris

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    1. Hi Chris ~ thanks for stopping by! Oh, I cannot wait to get out there and get my hands dirty again! Spring is just around that corner over there ~~~ d'ya see it? ~~~Deb

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  9. Deborah, you've captured the beauty of winter, even without snow, beautifully!

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    1. Thank you Cathy ~ still hoping for snow ~~~Deb

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  10. Your February sounds very similar to mine here in Oregon, although we have had temperatures in the high fifties, which just feels way too warm for this time of year. Definitely a multitude of gray and rainy days. Lots of people around here suffer from SAD as well this time of year, I do okay for the most part, being a native Oregonian months of rainy days is to be expected, but I will say when we get a sunny day it is so invigorating. I too have been busy with organizing projects, it feels so nice to clear up clutter! Love your onion pictures, I so look forward to gardening season, my garlic is up and doing well. I am also looking for solutions to keep the cats out of my garden beds, I will have to try your string method! Love all of your wintery pictures!

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    1. Thank you April ~ Yes, I remember the climate in northern California where I lived was very similar to here, except we don't get the rolling fogs every morning. Cats, sadly, are a bane of my garden. I am always looking for humane ways to stop them! I have a few ideas in the pipe line and will be addressing them in a future thread. ~~~Deb

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  11. I enjoyed reading your post and I especially liked the photographs.

    Kale is a great vegetable, one of my favourites and is full of iron so it does us good.

    Take Care and .....

    All the best Jan

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  12. I love the frosty pictures. I totally agree that our DIET is something we eat, NOT something we do.
    Fondly,
    Margot from VB

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    1. Hello Margot ~~~ so lovely to see you here at last! What a trial Google and Blogger can be! ~~~Deb

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments