Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Spring?? Is it coming?

Last year at this time the temperatures were in the 70's and 80's ... which was way too hot for this time of year.  We then had many frosts in April that really caused problems for plants, bushes and trees that had started to emerge with the warm weather in March.

This year is totally different ... we've had snow thru the middle of last week, some more predicted for next week.  But today was glorious!  The sun was warm and melted the majority of the snow .... here's a picture from this week ...

The pond was just starting to open up.  That's a sure sign that the weather is getting better!  Here's another day with the ice on the pond melting:

And sunshine!!  That always makes me feel better ... in this picture you can see my new Heron garden sculpture that I bought last weekend at Plantasia ... and the pond behind the Heron is wide open!  I don't plan on trying to scare off the heron that visit my pond, I just thought this was a neat heron, and very reasonably priced!

This morning the dogs and I wandered over to my neighbors, he wanted to borrow my chainsaw since his had quit.  He's making maple syrup and needed to cut wood to feed his fire.  Two other neighbors are also making maple syrup, but Bob has the best setup ... not surprising for an engineer!

Here are some of the trees he's tapped:

And here's Bob adding wood to his fire ... he made this contraption out of a barrel.

He expects to have 5 gallons of maple syrup by the time he's done ... it takes 30 to 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, that's a lot of work!!  He's been at it every weekend for the past month, or so.  Here's the fire burning:

You can see the sap/syrup boiling away on top ... here's a better picture:

He gave me a taste .. at this point is was just sweet water.  But I might get some real syrup from him!!  I was talking to his wife, Sally, about the cost of maple syrup ... and she had recently seen a gallon for $45 and thought that was cheap.  Now I know why, it takes a long time of boiling sap to get it to reduce to make maple syrup!

As I was walking back home, I looked at the Cleveland Pear tree in my back pasture, and the buds were just amazing ... as was the sky.

I went to my favorite tree nursery a couple of weeks ago, Turnbull's Garden Center, and picked out a couple more bare root trees.  They have a huge warehouse where they bring in bare root trees in March to sell, then they hold them for us until we're able to plant in April.  I got the Cleveland Pear from them, and many others.  Bare root trees are so much easier to plant without that huge burlapped root ball.  And they are a third of the price.

I've been working along on my quilt ... these colors are not my normal colors.  I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone and add all colors to this quilt.

So more "flower" squares: Oranges & yellows


I'm currently working on a totally different color combination!!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter, Passover, or whatever Spring celebration you are planning!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March in WNY ...

This weekend we all had a taste of Spring ... it was in the low 50's on Saturday and 65 today.  People were out and about in droves!  3 of my neighbors are making maple syrup, so they were very active this weekend because the warmth makes the sap flow faster.

Some signs of spring; winter aconites, snow drops and a witch hazel that smells like cinnamon.


A sure sign of Spring is when my pond opens ... it's coming soon!

It was a gorgeous weekend ... kind of bittersweet though, I've been so engaged with my quilt this winter, it will be sad to put it away for the year.  I've felt like the creative juices were flowing so well ... guess I'll just have to flow those same creative energies into my daylily hybridizing.  Unfortunately, the results don't show for 2 or 3 years. 
So here's my center piece of my quilt with 2 borders ... 
And here are some of the pieced block "flowers" I've been making ... I've been having lots of fun putting these "flowers" together ...

My daylily club, the Buffalo Area Daylily Society had a meeting this afternoon, and Dave Musar from Guelph in Canada showed us how he moved his garden from one house to another and his daylily introductions and seedlings.  His new house is a modular home, where they build the parts of the house in a factory and then put the sections together on the building site.  I've heard about these homes being in the mortgage business, and they are supposed to be some of the best made homes you can buy ... since they are built in a factory, they aren't put together out in the elements.  It was an excellent presentation!
Our president, Paula, was out of town so our VP was supposed to run the meeting.  Unfortunately, our VP (Anne Herman) had a family illness and was unable to attend, so our secretary Carol Haj stepped in and ran a very good meeting! 

She did a great job!  So I will be quickly working on my quilt for the next few weeks before I put it all away and start working outside.  The snow is melting, the days are getting longer and warmer ... Spring really is right around the corner!