A Frozen Winter

We are in the middle of an extra cold winter here in the greater Portland, Oregon area! After all the snowy days in November and December, we now have lots of freezing rain to contend with. Ice and more ice! I’m happy to report, however, that the temperatures are slowly warming up and the ice is slowly melting. What a winter!

Rain, Rain, Rain

Heavy November rains have arrived. “Local urban flooding” comes with these rains which means that the fields surrounding town are starting to look like lakes, Fern Hill Road will soon be covered with water and closed for a few days, the yard and garden are totally soaked, and there’s water in our basement (and most basements in the neighborhood). Just the usual Pacific Northwest late Autumn deluge. Tomorrow, if the downpour lets up and it’s not too windy, I’ll venture out to take some flood photos. For now, here’s a photo of our front walkway, completely puddled. It’s nice to spend the afternoon quietly inside, out of the rain, watching movies and being with family.

raindrops

The Cover Crops

garden-ready-for-winter

The garden, mostly ready for winter.

The cover crops have sprouted in our raised beds! We planted four different types of crops to see how they do this winter and to see what kind of difference they might make with our soil in the spring. We planted Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Austrian Winter Peas, and Buckwheat. A fun experiment!


UPDATE: November 24, 2016…  The “Buckwheat” seeds we planted were definitely NOT Buckwheat! The package of seeds must have been mislabeled, and in my inexperience, I didn’t know what buckwheat seeds should look like. Now that the seeds have sprouted, we realized the mistake and think we planted winter rye instead. Here’s a close-up photo of the sprouted seeds…if you know for sure what they are, please let me know!

not-buckwheat

Planting a Plum Tree

Many years ago, when we lived on “the Farm,” we had a wonderful Italian Prune tree that gave us loads of plums each September. That was one of the things we missed the most after we moved away! So it is very fitting that we planted a Dwarf Italian Prune tree in our yard this week. We planted it with lots of hopes and memories along with it. May it will do well in the spot we chose for it!

Falling Leaves

our-house-1912

Our house is on the right. Photo taken in 1912, we think.

Our neighborhood is called “Old Town.” The trees that shade our streets and houses are very old. The oaks that surround our next door neighbor’s house, and stand tall on our property line, are over 100 years old. Their shade is wonderful in the heat of the summer, but they drop tons of leaves in the Fall. (My neighbor rolled down his window as he drove past us the other day and called out, “Leafageddon, again!”)  The sound of leaf blowers (which my husband hates) is deafening on the weekends. We use our big rakes, raking leaves the old-fashioned way, and despite an occasional blister, we enjoy the job. Once each month, October through December, the town’s leaf vacuum truck comes by and vacuums up the huge piles of leaves that are raked or blown to the curb. Watching for the vacuum truck has become a delightful Autumn ritual.

leaf-vacuum-truck