Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring isn't here yet

Red sky at night
Sailor's delight

Maybe that old rhyme is true on the high seas but not on the prairies of northern Illinois. Friday evening the sky was a deep crimson but instead of foretelling a pleasant day ahead it turned out to be a portent of snow. Saturday morning was leaden and by afternoon gusty winds blew in freezing rain. Temperatures dropped and the rain turned to snow.

Our local weather-prophets-of-doom had predicted nine inches. Happily it turned out to be much less.

Plants know how fickle nature can be.

These daylilies don't mind a little snow, nor do these bulbs recently risen from their winter beds.

This loan oak leaf escaped being buried under the snow and skittered and twirled with the wind gusts.

The viburnum fruit still clings stubbornly providing a bright spot of color through these drab winter days.

One tiny ice cycle

Already predictions of more snow Thursday. Winter isn't through here on the prairies.

As irritating as we find these late snows, it is nothing compared to the battle raging farther west in North Dakota and Minnesota. My heart goes out to those folks fighting to save their homes and towns. Hats off to all the volunteers traveling from all over the country to help. Everyone wishes you luck.

The Flood

At once the rain in torrents fell-
Heaven's windows all were open-
Like fiend escaped the bounds of hell,
Rushed on - the spell was broken.

Like chaff before a mighty wind
Down went each cottage dwelling,
Respecting none, the waves swept on,
Grim death before - a sea behind
Still high and higher swelling.

Day had dawned at last, oh, direful scene,
Night's fading folds uncover-
As dawns the day, far, far away,
Where late were valleys robed in green,
Dark waves are sweeping over..

~ Scott Cummins


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I woke to heavy frost on the garden this morning. Ugh...enough already.

Unknown said...

This was a beautiful post. Pictures, words, poem. The icicle photo was gorgeous as was the sunset. I am sorry you're getting dumped on again though. This year I can really sympathize with being ready for spring and the weather being disagreeable. Hang in there!

Kerri said...

Your snowy weather was such a contrast to our beautiful sunny 72ยบ on Saturday! I feel for you!
That sunset is glorious and your snow photos make me shiver. Great shots.
We have rain here this morning (and yesterday), with gloomy skies, but we need it. The lawn is greening up today!
Wishing you spring warmth soon!

Phillip Oliver said...

You have my sympathy. I hope spring arrives for you soon. I've noticed that old saying is right a lot of the time here.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

We got away with flurries yesterday and it's supposed to reach 42 today. Still, I expect at least one more real snowfall before spring hits proper. Woo hoo Midwest!

Beth said...

We in Fargo are surviving and keeping up the good fight against the river and Mother Nature. We are not out of the woods yet as we have a winter storm bearing down on us which will test our dikes. Our home is 1/2 block from the river so we await this storm more anxiously. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers - we appreciate it! I have posted photos and details of our personal fight against the flood on my blog.

beckie said...

Marnie, the sunset picture is gorgeous! As are your snoe pictures. I feel for you, but hopefully it will all melt today. Like you, I feel bad about complaining when others are having it so much worse than we are.

Unknown said...

My heart goes out to all of you! We are complaining about thunderstorms coming again this week, I think I'll take it back, sorry!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Marnie, if you have snow, it's not too late to winter sow. In fact, I just got some castor bean seeds I plan to winter-sow today. Jugs don't need holes on top, as the spout functions as a big hole (just remove lid). For other containers, like my seed trays, I like to use a 3/16" or 13/64" drill bit for the holes. You also need holes on the bottom of every kind of container.

Randy said...

Hang in there Spring will be showing up before you know it!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Lisa, yes enough is enough;)

RainGardener, I always get cabin fever this time of year. Another couple weeks...

Hi Kerri, we had 70 temps in mid March. I hope our snow isn't heading your way.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Philip, just a couple more weeks. Our season is quite short.

Beth thanks for stopping by with an update. YOur in all our prayers. I visited you page. Your are doing a remarkable job fighting this flood.

Hey Beckie, this is just common stuff in the Midwest. We very often get a foot or more of snow in April (and may still this year;)


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Darla, truthfully I can take this cold better than I can take extreme heat like you get. We all adjust.

Jamie and RAndy, not much longer.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Monica, I'm going to take your advise. I have several jugs ready and some plain potting soil. I'll leave the lids off the jugs. I may do a tray also. I have nothing to loose but a few seeds if I mess up.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

The containers can be in sun or shade. The exposure only matters once you have more mature plants (to match their preferences). Rain/snow has to get int he containers so they can't be under an overhang, and a porous bottom (deck, soil, lawn) is preferred but not necessary. I emailed you the directions for venting once you have seedlings, right?

Anonymous said...

I feel so badly for you and those in ND. This would cause a deep depression for me. I can't go that long with cold and too much rain. I use to live in ND in the 1980's and that is such an extreme place. They have hot muggy summers and brutal cold winters. I'll stay here in NC where it's mild most of the time.

You'll have a nice summer and all that moisture from the snow will make some beautiful flowers. I'll be hauling watering cans all over and you won't have to.

Roses and Lilacs said...

FlowerGardenGirl, the weather does come in extremes in the prairie states. Unfortunately, we get sever droughts too. No way of predicting that. That's why I'm redesigning my gardens to be drought tolerant. I don't even consider a plant or shrub that isn't capable of going for long periods without water.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I respectfully disagree. It wouldn't be spring in Northern Illinois if we didn't get some snow in there. The weather forecast was very accurate for my area, the predicted 6 inches came through.
Your photos make the snow look like such a benevolent event. I especially like the last one.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hello. Your pictures are wonderful! I sympathize with you about the snow, because right now; we are getting 25 cm of it! Yesterday, people were out in short sleeves {some were anyway}. I cannot wait to see the end of this white stuff! I have a new garden out back I want to get at! It's been a very long and cold winter here in Atlantic Canada. Here's to better and warmer days ahead!!


sweetbay said...

Great sunset shot Marnie. It's gorgeous. I feel for the folks in North Dakota too. It doesn't rain but it pours. :(

Susie said...

Marnie, I love the picture of the viburnum berries. They look like a little cluster of cherries just begging to be eaten.

The Birdlady said...

Beautiful the little peeks from under the blanket.

Kathleen said...

I can so relate to your snowy, winter weekend Marnie and this week more to come for us too. It is much needed moisture but so much harder to cope with after a warm period. One of these days it will really be spring, won't it? It's amazing the birds haven't stripped those viburnum berries clean by now? They usually polish all mine off in the fall. Nice photos and great reminder for us to keep the rest of the country in our prayers. I saw more snow is headed to N. Dakota ~ just what they need. :-(

BeadedTail said...

Crazy weather but beautiful photos! We're just dreary here in the Pacific Northwest but we do get the occasional sun breaks which the cats love. We're all ready for spring!

Gail said...

Marnie...It felt like Christmas for a few minutes...I think it was the viburnum berries with all the snow photos! It has been devastating out west...I just popped over to see the Fargo weather and the winds predicted are not good. gail

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie (and Gail above!),
You have a real knack for making the snow beautiful in your photos! I must curse my shots because the disdain I have for snow always seems to come through, lol. They're all beautiful shots, and I especially liked the ones of the lonely oak leaf, the viburnum berries and the icicle. You should file these away for your own Christmas card this year!

I'm really worried about Fargo, since I have a good blogger friend who lives up there, and I haven't heard from him for a while, though I suspect he's probably one of those who has been out there sandbagging relentlessly. He's that kind of guy, always ready to pitch in and help. Saw they have a blizzard on the way as well ... hope they somehow manage to dodge that bullet (doesn't seem likely).

Good luck and stay safe to Beth who commented up above! Sending good vibes and positive thoughts up your way!

Dog_geek said...

Beautiful pictures and chilling poetry. My thoughts are with those facing flooding and winter storms - stay safe!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi MMG, Not sure about a benevolent event. I'd call it a non event. The predicted nine inches would have been a big nuisance. Just another day in the Midwest and me without a thing in the garden to write about.

Hi Sandi, I second that toast. Here's to spring, may it get here soon.

SweetBay, I know what you mean. I haven't heard anymore on the national news, I hope that means the river isn't rising any more.

Susie, they do look good but they are very bitter. I tried eating them only once.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Birdlady, it was kind of pretty for a brief moment.

Kathleen, I remember your snow photos;) Viburnum trilobum,
American Cranberry Viburnum was purchased because the birds are supposed to like it. Mine don't.

Hi BeadedTail, the cats and me too. I was just looking out the window at the rain and thinking what a huge impact weather has on us.

Hi Gail, they have battled so long out there. If they could just get a break.

IVG, I like snow a lot less now than last November;) It doesn't sound like good news for the flooded areas. Last summer I watched my father's neighbors battle the Rock River in flood. My heart breaks for everyone affected along the Red and Missouri rivers.

Hey DogGeek, it is kind of a chilling poem,isn't it?


Nan and =^..^= said...

It's always amazes me to see spring green leaves and reeds poking out of the ground and blooms with snow. In the past I have witnessed that and I shouldn't speak too soon for though the snow is nearly gone, I recall a 24 inch snow storm that wasn't even predicted towards the end of April some years ago!

Secret Aging Man (SAM) said...

Marnie, thanks for visiting my first post. Your photos capture well the ever-too-slow transition from Winter to Spring. Back in the '80's, I made numerous trips up to Champaign, Illinois from Southern Illinois, and was always amazed by the amount of snow you guys get up there in the north part of the state!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Awesome photograhpy, Marnie. That sunset is truly amazing...the icicle, as well! Mom got the same snow--she said her hyacinths blooming in the snow were beautiful. But still, she has cabin fever too. Hopefully, you won't have any April snows.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Nan, we frequently get a big snow in April. The wet kind that packs so well. The fun kind to make a huge snowman with. We both could still get one.

Sam it was a pleasure to read your first post. I hope you plan many more. If I had more time I'd still be out there searching for rocks.

MorningGlories, I hope not. It's raining today and truthfully there isn't much difference. Both cold and wet and unpleasant.


Gayle said...

Lovely pictures! Winter seems to be shaking it's fist at us refusing to go, but eventually gentle spring will win and warmer days will come.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Gayle, hoping they come sooner rather than later;)

Naturegirl said...

Marnie is Mother Nature playing an April Fools Joke!! (((SNOW))))
I also admire all the efforts to save homes and lives in those areas devasted with flooding!!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi NatureGirl, Maybe that was Mother Nature's way of saying April Fool:)

Cathy S. said...

What beautiful photos! and love the bird photos on your sidebar.

joey said...

Yikes, Marnie! Hope by now the snow has melted (we have more on the way after the weekend and seem to always have the last when the forsythia and bulbs are blooming). On a positive note, your photos are stunning :)

Gardeness said...

Lovely photos. Winter is still hanging on here, too. A bit of snow mixed with rain.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cathy, thank you.

Hi Joey, we may get more also. It's pretty common to have a heavy snow in early April.

Gardeness, it definitely won't be an early spring like I'd hoped.


ChrisND said...

Isn't that the way in early spring...just as the yard is almost ready to begin warming up and drying out -- 12" of heavy, wet snow. I guess the snow was better than rain, and below average temperatures were better to allow the rivers time to calm before the next rise.

Nice to see your bulbs persevering. We are just getting ready to gear up for the second round on the Red River of the North.