I’ve been gone a week to the warm sunny Tempe/Phoenix, Arizona area to visit our daughter and son-in-law. Now I’m back home to Arctic temperatures, wind chill factor, lake effect snow and white out conditions. In the next several posts, I will be sharing about my trip, but first I need to catch up here at home.
When I left on February 5th, several of the Amaryllis buds were close to opening. This is what welcomed me home. The white flowers are from the bulb the Farmer gave me for Christmas and the red one is actually a darker red than it shows. In real life it has a velvety appearance. The white flowers remind me of an Easter Lily.
The blooms on the red Amaryllis that was flowering before I left had wilted and the second bud was open. If you look in the center of the blooms, there is a 5th flower that will open in a few days.
Behind the Amaryllis is a happy blooming lavender geranium.
This flower pot was close to the
impatience in a flowerbed last summer. A seed fell in this pot and now there is a lonely impatience flower blooming.
While I was gone, the temperature rose to 40* one day. We have steel roofing on the house and when the temperature warms, all the snow comes sliding off in one big whoosh/thud. This snow is very icy and packs hard. It needs to be cleaned off immediately or it turns into solid ice when the temperature drops, which it has. These are the steps into our house. Fortunately there is a path on the left side to step up. We won’t get the ice off until the next thaw.
The next several posts will be about warm, sunny Tempe!
Starting the 2nd week of December, I potted 2 or 3 Amaryllis bulbs a week until they were all planted. I need some color in the winter! I have 13 big bulbs (including one the Farmer gave me for Christmas) and a pot with some little bulbs that broke off the big bulbs. The first one is finally blooming! Isn’t she beautiful?
There are several other tall Amaryllis’ that will be opening soon. The the rest are short flower buds and a few are just starting to send up shoots. I don’t know what the colors will be until they bloom. I know I have at least 1 white bulb, several reds and a couple of apple blossom bulbs. Each one is very pretty and I can’t pick a favorite color.
I hope I will have continuous flowers for several months this winter.
On Sunday we received 14 – 16 inches of snow, at least that is what the national weather service said. I couldn’t tell, it was very windy and the visibility was poor. Church services were cancelled and people were supposed to stay off the roads. We had no one coming to the farm, so we just left the driveway alone and let the snow blow!
Monday was a different story. The milkman was coming and the milkhouse supply truck was due. They might be late, but the driveway has to be open, so the Farmer got out the snowblower. This works on the same principle as the little snowblowers you see in town blowing out sidewalks, except of course, with more power. Ours hooks up on the back of the 42/40 and you back into the snow. You can adjust the blower to the direction it blows. There are 2 augers in the back which spin the snow up into the blower. The Farmer blows the snow into the pasture field so it is out of the way.
He blew the snow out of the driveway down to the road which got the bulk of the snow out-of-the-way. Then he got out the skidloader to push the snow he couldn’t get with the blower. He just pushes piles in the yard and along the edge of the driveway.
We use sand in the free stalls. It also works to add traction on the driveway. He applies the sand with the skidloader bucket, spreading it on the drive.This snow isn’t icy yet but it isn’t funny to watch a milk truck slide down the hill which has happened before.
Ok, now the driveway is open. What about our sidewalk? Cleaning the sidewalk was the responsibility of our children when they lived at home, but they are all long gone. This is how you clear snow from a sidewalk farm style. You drive up to the steps, tip the bucket down and scrape backwards. He’ll do this twice and call her finished. This works great for us. The sidewalk is still covered with snow, but since we wear boots all the time, it works for us. I cleaned the steps off when I went out to the barn for the evening milking. Snow removal is finished until the next snow fall.