Bloomin’ Update 35: Uncle!

Dahlia leaves didn’t appreciate the post-Sandy freeze.

This was supposed to be a post about how I kept myself occupied after Sandy while waiting for my work to resume.  Schools have been closed since the storm.

Fortunately, Joe and I had power throughout the Sandy ordeal, but the gas shortage had me staying close to home — which gave me the perfect chance to clean the yard.

Is it me, or does this dahlia bloom look like it’s crying?

Normally, fall clean-up would take place each weekend, weather permitting — and by winter, I certainly would not have accomplished what I had hoped.  But Sandy provided me with day after day after day after day after day of raking leaves and cleaning flowerbeds.  One of my targets was the bed that runs along the patio adjacent to the length of the pool.

Over the summer, the bed was filled with “Strawberry Fields” gomphrena.  But they became leggy — and I became lazy.  Weeds mixed in.  A bed of ivy under the white pines had again tumbled over a low-rock wall.  And with autumn and Sandy, there came a layer of leaves and pine needles.

Now was not the time to do a quick clean.  Now was not the time to tidy up the gomphrena to preserve their red blooms.  Instead, now was the time to think of winter interest and the hidden hardscape elements.  Now was the time to show no mercy.

Gomphrena was yanked, weeds were pulled, ivy was hacked, debris was bagged.

Working from left to right.

Much, much neater.

This little guy kept me company all day. Any idea on the identity?

The only leaves and pine needles that remained were around the base of the Windmill Palm. In a few weeks, we’ll wrap this tree for the winter.

Like I said, this was supposed to be a post about how I kept myself occupied after Sandy while waiting for work to resume and prepping the yard for winter interest.

Well, today schools reopened — and it was good to get back to something close to normal.

And winter interest also arrived today, as a nor’easter, which is really a cold weather tropical storm without a name.

Falling snow. That ghost on the right is actually a fountain, covered for the winter.

The air is damp and icy cold, the winds are gusting, and snow is now covering the debris left by Sandy.  There is worry that branches and trees loosened by Sandy will come down, knocking out power to people who only just had it restored.

My attempt to capture wind. Trust me, it’s blowing.

And there is the fear that tidal surges will again flood coastal areas because Sandy destroyed any barriers that would keep this kind of flooding in check.

This is more than adding insult to injury, more than kicking someone when they’re down, more than trying to stay positive in the face of adversity.  No, something like this requires an answer to one all-important question . . .

What on earth has Mother Nature’s panties in a bunch?

26 thoughts on “Bloomin’ Update 35: Uncle!

      • In Isabelle, we went without power for almost three weeks….neighbors became real good to each other and we got through, and yet, it keeps happening, doesn’t it?
        But this seems horrific as it is a double whammy and very cold.
        Many people out of the area want to help but voice distrust sending money to the big agencies as they do no think it finds its way to those in real need.
        If you know other wise and other sources you might want to post about it. Then all of us could tag that post and maybe some relief will get there.
        Patience comes and eventually restoration. But unfortunately not as quick as we like.
        Glad some “normal-ness” has begun. Best.

  1. Since I can’t see the front of the bird, and not all of its tail, I am going to guess a Cedar Waxwing. But I am most unsure of that!


    • Thanks for the tip. I looked at a photo of your bird, and I don’t think it’s a match. I’ll keep looking, and if it flies back, I’ll try to get a better photo.

  2. The bird looks similar to a young robin perhaps. Did it have a spotted or colored chest? Hoping the nor’easter blows by without significant damage. Thank goodness you have power as this next round comes through, as it sounds like there are still some without in certain areas? I can’t imagine what they must be going through. ~ Kat

  3. Your bird friend looks just like the picture of a juvenile European starling in my Audubon Society bird book. Odd to see a juvenile this late in the year, but if you had an early spring, maybe mom & dad starling had two batches this year. Our birdhouse tennants, a pair of Eastern bluebirds, nested twice this year too.

  4. Well I am sad for the circumstances but I am glad you are able to work in your garden.Your beds are looking so neat Kevin. Cleanup takes so long. Or maybe I am just getting older and slower so it takes me longer. LOL! I hate to see that white nasty stuff coming down with what you all are having to cope with anyway. You both stay safe there.

    • Lona! The beds looked neat on the day I took that photo. You should see it now. The wind and snow from the nor’easter recovered it with leaves and debris. It was neat while it lasted. 🙂

  5. Good questions! I am really wondering what is going on, too…it’s freakishly scary! I’m glad you got some good garden clearance time in…I have zero weather excuses, and need some of that inspiration! 🙂 I hope that the Nor’easter didn’t blanket you with too much snow? Is that possible?

  6. Hi Kevin, good to hear you are coping with the aftermath, I sincerely hope you won’t get another angry blast by Mother Nature, we have all had more than our fair share of freakish weather for 2012. The novelty of breaking weather records over and over has long past, I just want a normal, old fashioned winter and spring for a change – for us all.

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