Saturday, February 21

Note to Michele: Snow, Snow, and More Snow and..... a Winter Butterfly?

Hi Michele,

The big news here in New England is snow, snow, and more snow. I don't have any garden news for Sprouts readers but I do have weather news. Above you see my garden, buried in snow. In some spots the drifts and bankings are up to 5 feet deep. It's the most snow in the shortest time anyone can remember.
 Snow removal is taking up a great deal of everyone's time. In between storms, we shovel and chip away at it.
 And then more snow comes and it piles up some more. We make sure we're stocked up on bottled water and foods that are easy to heat by camp stove should we lose power.
 And then there is this handy dandy winter tool. For those of you who don't live in snowy areas, this is a roof rake. With all this snow, roof tops need clearing off. And this is the tool to do it. 

Some people are also filling panty hose with ice melting salt to make little salt 'bombs' to toss onto the roof. These salt bombs slowly release salt and melt the ice dams, but it's not very effective until the temperatures are above 30. So we toss them up and wait for the mercury to climb.

We are dreaming of spring in these parts. When shoveling and roof raking it's difficult to believe spring will ever come again. But the other day I had the most unusual surprise. I found a live butterfly in my livingroom. It was white with lavender markings. It landed on my hand, so I set it on the mantle and went to get my camera. I was gone but a few seconds, but when I came back the butterfly was no where to be found. I looked everywhere. Was it a sign of spring? A figment of my snow weary imagination? Something magical? Perhaps it came in on the cyclamen plant my mother gave me for Valentine's Day? It's a mystery. 

But, a butterfly in the house when the temps are subzero and the snow is piled deep outside is special indeed.

How are things in Portland, Oregon? I'm looking forward to your updates as gardening season progresses!


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