Six On Saturday — February 16

It’s a white and wintry season here, as nearly four feet of powdery snow fell at Coppertop throughout the week. I’m loving it! The temps have hovered just at and slightly above freezing, but since we live on a mountain at 1200′ or 366m elevation, precipitation falls as snow more readily here. Plenty of indoor projects and snow shoveling interspersed with snowshoe treks to the greenhouse and shed, have kept all of us active. Our driveway and roads have been impassable some days, but we’ve made it to town a few times now.

ONE – I’m glad I clipped some Forsythia branches a couple weeks ago to force indoors. These brighten our breakfast room each year. The topmost branches of our large, arching hedge of forsythias just peek out from the snow now.

TWO – The fragrance of summer berries from the garden filled our home this week as I canned marionberry jam and marionberry syrup. Marionberries are a variety of blackberry that originated in Marion County, Oregon. They are the known as the “cabernet” of blackberries. I harvest them each August from a long trellis then freeze whatever we don’t eat fresh. This year I had about 16 pounds of marionberries in my freezer, and I used over 12 pounds to make jam and syrup.

THREE – The snow has brought flocks of birds, and since I can’t quite reach all the feeders, I’ve resorted to throwing handfuls of seed onto the snow, which seems to bring even more feathered friends. A flock of dark-eyed juncos waited for more seed, perched in the willow, as seen below. Also, one of my favorite winter visitors, the varied thrush with his orange throat hung out at a feeder. A spotted towhee with his unmistakable red eyes helped himself to some of the last suet I was able to hang.

FOUR – Chickens have held a starring role at Coppertop since we moved in five years ago. Our hens literally have been cooped up since the big snows began last week. I’ve cleared off the liftable sides of their home to toss in food from above. On this week’s menu: their normal grain mix, heads of cabbage, leftover fresh cranberries, carrots, apples, and some stale crackers. Spoiled girls! Providing water has been more challenging, but I’ve become pretty adept at lugging thermoses while snowshoeing, then pouring water down into their heated bowl. It’s odd to be standing at least three feet above them on the snow and peering down instead of stretching to reach over the tall side of their ground floor pen. A weekend project is to dig them out and clear their doorway so that they can run freely through the snow. They know the big melt means WORMS!

FIVE – The new greenhouse is faring well beneath all the snow. I’d moved a few dozen plants in before our change in weather. Each day following nighttime snowfall, snow slides off the roof as the interior warms to about 60F. You can see the greenhouse in the center of the first photo below. Since we’ve turned off water and drained all pipes through the gardens, I’ve filled a wheelbarrow with snow and keep it in the greenhouse; the snowmelt keeps my plants hydrated.

SIX – It’s the time of amazing icicles! I imagine we will see more impressive frozen stalactites along the edges of all buildings as the big melt continues in earnest. But watch out beloooooww!

Garden delights from garden bloggers around the world are posted on Saturdays and can be viewed by visiting the comment section of The Propagator’s site. He’s the gardener we owe thanks to for starting all this fun.