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*FIRST SNOW...digging the herb bed...*


this is the month of Novembrrrrr….. It has been unseasonably warm for most of the month but the cold is coming…it’s on the wind!
Today, Nov 17, was our first flurry….it came down like a white lace curtain…lovely but hinting about the amounts that are soon to fall! Actually, a winter with lots of snow is mild. When it starts to fall we hope that we get at least a foot of snow to cover the gardens so that when the deep cold starts the perennials are snug under a white insulator. Have piled cedar boughs on the new bed beside the old shed to keep my newly purchased perennials snug well into April.
Last weekend was a wonderful opportunity to put things to bed. The temperature was balmy…in the 50’s F…just the right temp to make heavy work…digging, raking and cutting up deadfalls…comfortable. I’m too old for working like that in the hot months…I wilt. In the week previous I had mowed the dry meadow so that I won’t have the mess of flattened dead grass to contend with next spring. So Saturday was given to preparation of the herb bed site and piling the brush to be burned off once the snow is deep enough to do so safely.

Saturday night we lit the first bonfire and burned a third of the brush and scrub that had been accumulated over the previous 11 months. We moved in late in December last year so no winter prep was done by us.
Good exercise… fresh air…

This is the lace curtain…didn’t stay long though.

The gray squirrel was busy in the warm days..checking and rechecking his stashes.

Between the greenhouse and the firepit is a gentle slope which will be the first of the herb beds… Had to move stones and dig drainage channels…all heavy work.
My helpers moved the brush piles so that I could clean the area and do the first turn of the sod.

Jeff and Katherine worked tirelessly and when we decided to call it a day we were all ready for a good dinner and a movie with munchies…

We all had our turn at cutting up brush and felling three dead trees. All were dry and will make good kindling for the wood stove. The large logs in this photo were not cut by us…If I need the huge trees felled I will call in a professional…That is dangerous work. But Saturday we
cut up the dead fall from the walnut and ash which had been an eyesore all summer.

The wood stove will hopefully reduce our heating costs this winter and even though we have had to buy two cords of wood we could easily have plenty from the forest if I was ambitious and organized. Some things are just too much for me…and that’s one of them.
The neighbour’s pigs have not done as much damage this year… it’s like The Story of the Three Little Pigs.
There are three little black piglets who have slipped under the lowest strand of electified wire and have enjoyed some free range feeding around the margins of the meadow…they are very cagey and the only way to know if they are there is to listen for the constant rustle of the leaves as they root for goodies. They are cute little fellows…all black, round and well fed…with muddy little snouts and beady little eyes and perky floppy ears that flap as they run… for, run they do…. They seem to know that they are out of bounds! When I first discovered them I laughed in amazement and said: “so what are you guys up to here?”… They stopped …stark still…and the leader gave a little squeal and they bounded back up the hill through the leaves …sounding like a stampede! Didn’t think I was that severe! Tried to get a photo of them but they are also camera shy. When the pictures were uploaded I became aware that the little grunters were not visible…in the shadows they disappear! So I have no pictures to show…rats!

My son, Jeff, brought the cut up wood to the old shed to pile it indoors. In this shot you can also see the heap of cedar boughs on the perennial bed…and the bare soil of the part which will be next summer’s veggie bed.

When I was last in the front bed (near the road) I found more proof of the deer…these prints were the best I could find as they had been all around the mallow and hostas.

The woodpeckers are returning. They find the dead spruce irresistible.

It has been a bit of a blessing that the November weather has been mild. I’ve been able to plant my bulbs, dig the herb bed, move rocks for retaining walls and cut the meadow without freezing or sweating!
The apple trees will be pruned in late winter but managed to rake and clean underneath them…hopefully there will be less blight on the leaves next spring as a result.
The list of jobs never seems to get any shorter but since it’s November, any that are not completed now will just be waiting for spring! It’s no trouble to list them…there is no great urgency attached to their doing…and that is wonderful. The last task I think I will attempt will be to clear the area around the maples which will be tapped next March. No rush…just as long as it’s done before the snow gets too deep!

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A lot of work there, Lori! As you say, the list never seems to get any shorter - always adding more to the bottom as you tick off the top! Nice that you were able to achieve so much during your milder season - hope the logs for your fire last a while! Partner's been cutting and stashing up piles of logs for several weeks and, thanks to our neighbour with his motor-tractor, we have enough wood to last the season. Partner's also recently dug over my herb bed (snap!) removing rocks and stones along the way, so it's now re-planted with the herbs that I moved to a temporary bed. We saw the first evidence of snow for this season a few days ago at about 2,000 mtrs asl - now we wait for predictions of snow at 700 mtrs when we're really in for it!

18 Nov, 2011


You are in the place I would be in my element in Lori, flora & fauna all around. Endless tasks go with the territory don't they ? Superb photo blog of your day, thanks for sharing & looking forward to your snow photo's.
ps: what was the movie & what were the snacks ?? we like to know these things ;-)))

18 Nov, 2011


It was the 17th November we got our first snow here last year. This year it is actually a warm 12C this morning and my bulbs think it's spring.
You've got tons of work done preparing for the winter and that will pay off in the months to come, I'm sure, when you're sitting at your log fire and looking out at the snow. Great blog. Looking forward to the snow scenes on your beautiful acres. Keep warm.

18 Nov, 2011


What an interesting Blog Lori ,it's like reading a book that you don't want to put down , I'm sure you will be more than happy with your log burner , you have so many jobs to do but I can tell you love it ,it will be time to rest when you are snowed in sitting warm and cosy with your mug of hot chocolate writting your next chapter to us ... we hope !

18 Nov, 2011


Great blog. I like the "lace curtain" caption for the photo of the snow - perfect description.

18 Nov, 2011


Good Morning Friends! Weatherman calls for two cms of snow today....although the sun is shining! Have noticed that weather can change very quickly and sometimes with disasterous we will stay home today and do our weekly shopping tomorrow.
Nariz: Hi! I remember tracking the progress of winter by the snow cap on Mt. Baker (U.S.-Washington State) when I lived in B.C. You mentioned rocks and it hit a nerve ...I have decided to wait til spring to use a sieve to remove the worst of the gravel in the putative herb bed...It was hard enough turning the sod. With our changeable weather it could be a job for next week...temps are going up again!
Bampy: LOL...the movie was an old one...As Good as It Gets...Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Cuba Gooding and Greg Kinnear...and the cutest little dog on the planet! I bought a large tray of cubed fresh fruit and we had crackers and cheeses and popcorn. (Not all at once but spread over the evening...with some nice Magner's cider.) We were too tired to be gourmet and get creative!
OJ93: Interesting that you mention your bulbs...I was beginning to worry about mine. I planted them in five different places across the front and watched to make sure the squirrels didn't find them ...or the piglets! Found deer tracks in the bed...but no sign of anyone digging.
Amy: Thanks Amy! The serious cold will be upon us all too soon... have to say I'm not looking forward to January and February. Guess I shouldn't be so pessimistic as I have an indoor "to-do list" that would choke a pig!

18 Nov, 2011


Thanks Frybo... Snow is so beautiful...just wish it wasn't so cold! Later in the winter it becomes too cold to snow,..arctic high pressure is crackling bright and clear. Warmer air from the south and west brings us our precip. and in mild winters the jet stream doesn't dip too far down into the states.

18 Nov, 2011


Super blog and pictures Lorilyn....loved reading it all - I love the snow!
Great jobs done by all :)

18 Nov, 2011


cider, cheese & crackers, the perfect movie snacks Lori & Jack Nicholson always a good watch. You had a well earned evenings R&R.

19 Nov, 2011


Lovely to see how gardeners cope 'across the pond' ... I love the tale of the piglets ... and your movie choice was great! ... remember the scene where Jack says "Carol, the waitress, meet Simon the fag!" ... so irreverent but funny at the same time ... :o)

20 Nov, 2011


Agree Shirley it's definitely a "Laugh out Loud" movie...

21 Nov, 2011


I really want to see it again now ... lol!

21 Nov, 2011

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