Tag Archive for snow

Monitoring snow melt

With just five days since our last snow fall it’s been great to be able to watch mounds of snow melt away. The sand crane statue is perfect for monitoring snow melt … much more interesting than a common yardstick.

The last snowstorm, March 5th – hoping it really is our last – added another 7″ of snow on top of the drifts and piles built up this winter. Overall, the 67″ of snow that’s fallen during the winter of 2014-2015 on my south-central Connecticut gardens is not an unusual amount. During the 2013-2014 winter our snowfall total was about 66″. These two more recent winters brought much less than the 82″ of snowfall measured during the 2012-2013 winter.

I much prefer a snowy winter to one that’s just cold and gray. Snow gives the landscape a totally different look and brings such interesting highlights to shrubs and tree forms. Still, this winter the snow seems so much deeper. The bulk of it fell in about one month’s time and it’s been remarkably cold. February 2015 was the coldest on record in Connecticut, which prevented snow melt and allowed snow piles and drifts to grow and grow.

Snow piles and drifts were so deep by March 5 that my sand crane statue was nearly buried.

Sand crane statue barely showing above the snow.

Sand crane statue barely showing above the snow.

Now, five days later, its neck is completely exposed and its river rock body is showing enough to capture more of March’s warming sun.

snow finally melting around the snow crane statue

snow finally melting around the snow crane statue

Each day we get a bit closer to seeing bare ground. I suspect crocus and other spring-blooming bulbs are perched just below the surface ready to pounce into bloom as soon as the snow blanket melts away. Before long … just a few months from now … the same sand crane will be surrounded by greenery, blossoms, and buzzing insects.

Sand crane statue with balloon flowers

Sand crane statue with balloon flowers

And everything in my garden – myself included – will sigh, “Ahhhhh!”

 

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Finally … winter snow

Snow has been rare in my south-central Connecticut garden so far this winter so I more than welcome this morning’s measly three inch snowfall. Finally … winter snow has arrived.

At this time last year we already had good snow cover and I was checking animal tracks to see which creatures were active around the house and gardens. More animal track observations may be possible if the wind remains still and the snow cover doesn’t melt away due to one of the broad temperature swings that, so far, have highlighted our 2014-2015 winter.

But, this morning’s creature watching was all about birds. A junco perched for a photo atop the branch of a white lilac and, on the main trunk, a downy woodpecker seems to be listening for insect activity.

Junco and downy woodpecker in a January 2015 snow

Junco and downy woodpecker in a January 2015 snow

Both await their turn at the nearby feeder, but the woodpecker’s actions capture more of my interest. This lilac was host to some sort of borer last year. I pruned out damaged trunks and branches, and dug out as much of the damaged root section as possible, then waited and watched for new insect holes in the woody branches. If woodpeckers remain interested in the trunk sections of this shrub I know to keep watching it closely for further borer damage.

In the meantime, activity at the feeder shows it’s time to refill the suet and thistle seed.

Juncos and downy woodpeckers on a snowy morning.

Juncos and downy woodpeckers on a snowy morning.

They’ll get their wish later, when it’s time clear the walkways. For now, I’ll just continue to enjoy the view, and hope my woodpecker friends visit the lilac as a resting spot, rather than a place for food.

 

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