Not quite as fierce as last year, but this February has been ridiculously cold. The temperatures are at least 10C colder than normal - and there have been no days above 0C. Kevin God Bless him, washed my car on one of those balmy -10C days ("But Barb, it's sunny!) With practice, I'm getting better at climbing in through passenger door, scooting across the frozen seats and starting my car. Good old Honda CRV - no problems starting, just getting in and out, and locking and unlocking door - minor details.
This cold has slowed everything that I'd normally have done when it comes to the garden: seed ordering, seed starting and the beginning of garden revisions well underway - at least in my design program. This year I haven't even begun to open my catalogues or check out the websites. May these words now written serve as my spark to turn my attention the garden calendar.
We've had several visits to the Cherry Hill Trail at the Royal Botanical Gardens. More and more people are visiting - so great to see the trails so well used. Bart found this poor little raccoon. I fear he wasn't doing too well. Didn't look like he'd been in a scrap, but certainly was moving very slowly and should have been hidden in his den by this time in the morning.
Kevin and I took turns feeding the birds. Notice how they're lined up like airplanes waiting to land on his hand to grab some seed.
With all the cold weather, I though it would be fun to ask GWA writers from our region to a "It's too darn cold, let's have a soup party!" It was great to see everyone and catch up.
Kevin and I are still eating soup and enjoying all the beautiful flowers they brought:
My own old tulips on the way out, but still lovely...
A gorgeous spring arrangement:
Anthurium in the kitchen - a real favourite for both Chinese New Year and Valentines Day:
The scent from the potted daffodils is divine:
Muscari making friends with the primula:
Lovely white tulips:
And of course Hercules getting ready to have some fun with some of the trailing bits, the moment my back is turned:
Muscari grateful to be on the inside rather than the other side of the window:
And Bart so tired of his coat:
Fortunately there was a break in the weather on Saturday & Sunday. The temperature was no higher than -7C, but when it's been -20C, it really did seem like a break. There had been about 15 cm of snow, so we figured it was a perfect opportunity to go check out the trail to see how it looked. We took the longer leg, because it really felt so warm. It was so beautiful. I only wish the sun had come out a bit to give the snow more definition and depth:
At the mid-point of the trail there is a grove of Sycamore Plantanus occidentalis. It is at the top of its range here in Ontario. You can certainly understand why one of its common names is buttonball tree.
Kevin and Bart:
The track has been worn down both by boots and by skis:
Mr. Morning Dove having a little snooze:
And now all the way back around with the Sycamore trees off in the distance:
Using my trusty zoom - a little closer:
And then closest, with my camera not knowing whether to grab the image of the branches or the increasingly heavy snow flakes:
So very beautiful. So very cold. All I can say, is thank goodness for good friends, soup and beautiful flowers that can be enjoyed well ahead of those that are fast asleep beneath the frozen ground.