Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Still Not Much Of A Winter - Yet

 My "bird" feeder.  Notice the large number of 
fluffy gray "birds" who are visiting.
And all of the snow on the dead brown - wait, what month is it?

Well, it's still been a very mild winter up here in Central New York.  Mind you, I'm not complaining - I'm enjoying the lack of sub-zero temps, and not having to shovel the driveway.  But it's not something I'm used to at all.  Normally by now we've had well over 60" of snow, and I think we've had less than 12" so far (but lots of rain).  Normally temperatures here would be in the  single digits and teens to twenties, not the high 30s to low 50s.  Right now it feels like mid to late March, not the first week of February.  That may start to change this weekend, but for now it's still unseasonably warm.

A neighbor of ours saw robins in their yard last week.  I've got new columbine foliage growing in the garden.  Yesterday I saw one of the high school sports teams out running, in shorts and t-shirts, and some of them were not wearing shirts at all.  HERE IN CNY, ON FEBRUARY 6TH.  Un-stinkin'-believable.

 "Winter" sowing, 2012 - notice all the snow on the ground. . . .

But, I decided I'd better get busy winter sowing or some seeds wouldn't have time to stratify (go through enough cycles of freeze/thaw to prompt germination) before spring really arrives.  I'm glad I didn't do it earlier, because I'm sure many things would have sprouted and then been crisped by low temps, which are sure to arrive at some point soon.  I hauled out my potting soil, seeds, and various recycled containers last week and got busy.  Poppies, day lilies, phlox, pak choi, amaranth, sunflowers, cosmos, rudbeckia - all sorts of annual and perennial lovelies got planted.  I'll do the tender annuals (tomatoes, peppers, zinnias, etc.) in a few weeks.  I need to save up more containers - I used up my stash.

 Princess Yakyak's teddy bear, from a pattern she found online 
and modified herself.

I've been teaching Princess Yakyak some sewing skills lately, by hand and using the sewing machine.  She's made some small items, like a simple teddy bear and little 4-patch pillows, and a drawstring bag, with a little help.  Today she's at a friend's house a few houses down, and they've spent the whole afternoon sewing.  (It was a half day of school for the K-6 students.)  I just talked to her friend's mother, and they've been quiet and occupied for over 4 hours now - amazing.  I'll be interested to see what she brings home.  I'm glad they're having fun.