Blessed readers, my apologies for slacking off so severely. You may both flog me at CLA in August...
Let it be clear that Mr. Fuzzy is not complaining in this post. Nor is he bragging. But he is content with the near total absence of winter this season. Yes, indeed, the mercury has kissed the 15F degree mark several times but never has it lounged about but instead sought to rise to higher goals. There were also few prolonged periods of lingering gray clouds. The Creator brought regular precipitation and the soil is thoroughly dampened at least a foot deep. The wee springs on the farm seem to have totally recovered from the severe stresses of the summer drought. For once, there may have been enough wood in the woodpile to last the cold nights (the new woodpile has just begun for next winter, all locust thus far). Several days have been in the high 50s recently although a moderation is due tomorrow (but still not freezing night temperatures).
The chicken have shown us in the last several days that insects are beginning to emerge from the ground. They have wandered further afield and are pursuing delectable dining with a cocky passion.
The flora of Stratheden are also breaking their winter sleep. Wild onions emerged a month ago and are now nearly to full size. The wild roses, always the first forest floor plant to leaf, is doing so. Cool season grasses, which barely entered dormancy, are not only green but growing rapidly. The iris in a sheltered position near a warm wall are half grown already!
This leaves Mr. Fuzzy in quite a dilemma given that today's date is February 2nd. The bulbs and rhizomes need to be fed very, very soon if the available nutrition is to arrive at the proper time of growth. Nonetheless, the odds of snow and a killing hard freeze are nearly certain. If the application is held for a fortnight, it will be too late. Is it better for the plants to be underfed and bloom poorly or receive good support and have their new growth all freeze dead? Regardless, it is safe to apply lime to balance the acid soil of the farm... and Mr. Fuzzy purchased bags of a new pelleted form today for immediate use.
Any sage advice regarding the Salvia?
You shall be receive prompt notification of any new weather conditions, fear not.