Monday, March 19, 2007

Mother nature is a cruel, cruel mistress

Here in south central Pennsylvania last week, the mercury climbed to a summery 77 degrees on Wednesday. On Friday we got twelve inches of snow. It snowed and snowed and snowed some more. And then it blew and blew and blew some more so that anywhere that was shoveled quickly got unshoveled. But it is okay. There is something pleasing about a mid-March storm. It was lovely to look at and didn't put me in a blah mood because I knew that this would be the last. The forecast for this week showed temperatures in the 50s and 60s so I knew I wouldn't be looking at snow for weeks and weeks.
One exciting thing was the amazing variety of birds that it brought to the feeders. We are in transition here. Not quite all of the winter birds have left but quite a few of the summer birds have arrived. And everybody was hungy. On Friday and over the weekend I had to fill feeders twice a day in addition to scattering cracked corn and leftover cereal on the front porch. We had brown thrashers (which we almost never see), and lots of red-winged balckbirds which are very infrequent visitors to our feeders. A pair of bluebirds, white-throated sparrows, and elusive bluejays (rare feeder visitors for us). Many grackles and cowbirds, and tons of robins. The robins didn't some to the feeders however and wouldn't eat the cracked corn. I cut up some oranges for them, thinking they would eat those but they didn't. Maybe I was thinking of Orioles. They did however cluster on the cleared road in front of the house, drinking meltwater all weekend. Easily 100 Robins would be on the road, causing all traffic to slow and quite a few to blow their horns to scatter the birds. The dogs really loved this. Insane barking every 20 minutes or so.
Thanks to the foot of snow delivered, I didn't get peas planted, or anything else planted outside. I did however start some alpine strawberry seeds indoors and managed to squish them in to the already packed greenhouse window. I have lettuce ready to eat in there and tomatoes growing like there is no tomorrow. So I will enjoy this last of the snow and will almost be sorry to see it go. Almost. I am really ready for spring.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's certainly easier to take the six inches of snow outside knowing it'll all be gone by later this week :)

4:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Alpine strawberries... very appropriate for this snowy weekend. (Although admittedly, we didn't get as much as you--a mere dusting, barely in the multiples of inches.)

I think it is orioles that you were thinking about, but our local Cleveland news stations ran stories in February about robins who were running out of berries and unable to dig grubs in the snow. They suggested cutting up apples or feeding them berries or raisins. Don't now about the last two, but they wanted nothing to do with my apples. Until I put a whole one out for them to tear apart.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that we are not the only ones getting snow. I would love to be there to see all those birds.
I started alpine strawberries from seed and had really good luck with them. So far this year, I have started agastache, impaiens, and orange butterfly weed. In the next couple of weeks, I will be doing the 6-8 week stuff.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Rurality said...

Snow...? I think I vaguely remember hearing about that stuff. Somewhere in the distant past. :)

11:58 AM  
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