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.

45 thoughts on “Six On Saturday — February 16

  1. I love your photos of the birds. They look so stunning with the snow as a backdrop.
    That sure is a lot of snow, but you look like you have everything under control. I bet your girls are anxious to get out and run around. Mine never like the snow, but they were spoiled with a slightly heated coop. Stay warm and safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This amount of snow is HIGHLY unusual and happens once in decades — one for the record books! I feel like I’m on vacation in the alps! We have a mild, coastal climate, yes very similar to many parts of the UK. Less rain here though, with an average of just 27 inches yearly in our town. Most people would assume we get the same rain as Seattle since that’s our nearest large city, but we don’t because we’re in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains. More weather info than you probably wanted, Cindy, but gardeners can talk weather all day!


  2. Blimey that IS a lot of snow. Looks beautiful but obviously challenging. You have some very pretty birds visiting your gardens, I love to watch birds come to the feeders in mine, some are very quarrelsome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The snow looks so pretty and there’s so much of it! It’s a good thing you enjoy it. Your jam also looks beautifully presented. I have not heard of Marion berries before, though of course I’m familiar with blackberries.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Forsythia is great for forcing, a bit of sunshine yellow is just what you need with all that snow. Such an unusual little bird, how the birds must be struggling. It all looks very beautiful but rather you than me. Enjoy your lovely jam.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely and lively post today! I really liked learning about your chickens………….and the marionberries! Was that an especially made chicken coop? You take really great bird photos too! I hope your winter wether is coming to an end!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow 4′ of snow! Unheard of here, at least where we live, and it would be pretty unusual anywhere else too. I don’t envy you that. I have spent the weekend sorting stuff out in the garden, I would have felt cooped up like your chickens with all that snow!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, that’s a lot of snow! We’ve gotten off lightly so far this year for snowstorms in MA, but too much freezing rain, IMO. The whole west coast is really getting quite a few storms lately. My son lives near Tahoe and the snow keeps on coming!
    A varied thrush and a towhee visiting – now that is pretty neat!


    • Hi Eliza! Just seeing this now… Yes, Tahoe has been getting excellent snow. Too much rain in many parts of CA. It seems feast or famine is the theme there. Our visiting birds greatly increase in snow, I’m guessing because the plants are harder to get to and the feeders are refilled regularly. Hope all is well with you there in your beautiful plot!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Richard and Simon Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s