Thursday, December 10, 2009

BRRRRRRR!.....It's cold outside! This is looking like a repeat of last year. After a few crisp, sunny days in the upper 30's, that we took advantage of by going on a few bike rides, the weather turned really cold. Around the Portland area, temps below freezing are rare, but this week we've been into single digits. Waking up to 16 degrees is cold enough! We had to act fast and drain our fountain and water pagoda. The photo above was taken just before we turned the water off, and if you look closely in the upper left corner you'll see a deer running at a blurred speed past the vineyard! I didn't notice him until after I took the picture. I am wondering how all the animals are managing. Don't the poor birds get cold? The deer have been seen lately running at a fast pace across our property, as if being chased.....perhaps by a reported cougar that may be in the area. Our hungry squirrel, I am sure, has settled in nicely for the Winter under our hot-tub.... with a good supply of stolen walnuts!

On a quick walk around the house to inspect my garden I discovered that some rhododendrons appeared colder than others! This yellow 'Hotoi ' has curled up it's leaves to the point of looking like a conifer with needles! Interesting that the 'Jean Marie' around the corner looks unchanged.

I'm glad that I managed to haul some of the more tender potted plants into the green house for protection...but I don't look forward to getting the electric bill next month! I have a small heater that keeps the green house at a 'cool '39-40 degrees when the temps dip below that outside.

Aside from trying to stay warm, I've been busy finalizing a landscape design, and preparing for the upcoming holidays. Luckily we put the Christmas tree up early and were able to cut it down....a nine foot Noble Fir, while the weather was both warm and sunny! Since we have been in Oregon, we've never had to buy a tree...started cutting Douglas firs down on our own property and then moved around the neighborhood! We have some small Nobles planted now that should provide some trees in the future.

Perhaps I should decorate our new water tower for the animals! We are hoping that once the temperatures moderate and the water can flow again, we won't find that the ice has done any damage. I really miss the sound of the water though! Before bed we usually sit out in our hot-tub, which is located on our deck with the fountain just below. The clear, cold weather has made the stars appear brighter.....and with the outside temps in the teens or lower and the water temp at 104, it's a great experience! But with the fountain frozen solid it's so quiet now............

Wishing everyone a peaceful and happy holiday as we approach another new year!

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