Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Unseasonably Warm Weather

Being off for 12 days for Christmas break is wonderful enough, but this year, I was thrilled to be out working in the yard for 3 of those days--it felt like spring!

We had to be out in Western PA six days before Christmas, so we arranged to visit the family the weekend before Christmas instead of driving back out 3 or 4 days later.  It worked out well for everyone--the visit was enjoyable and relaxed...no one felt rushed to squeeze in two visits in one day--and best of all, that meant we would not lose two days to traveling a a few days to visit, so we have had more time to ourselves here.

With weather between 45-55 over a three day period--and one day I swear it felt like 60 or 65 in the sun.  The ground was not frozen, and that put big dreams in my head to start digging the large pond I've been dreaming of...but, being out of shape and not having a place to transplant the white violets that take up about a third of so of the section, I put that on hold until the spring.  (I'd better get to the gym over the next 3 months and be ready to DIG!)

While walking the paths (can I call them trails if they go through my "woods"?), I would just wander around to see what sparked some action.  Luckily for me, this summer, I'd sickled through two areas that I'd let get overgrown--one of which was a woodland path.  Normally, the woodland paths close up on me (since there are not enough trees to shade out the weeds out), so I don't normally get in there until this time of the year or later.

I was finally able to access the secondary path of the "woodland" area--and that is where I spotted a privet bush (right near the property line) that must've escaped cultivation.  I spotted it early spring, but never did a positive ID on it.  Seeing it loaded with berries was a dead give-away.  Still, I double checked my ID skills by searching online.  Sure enough, it was what I thought, and had to come out.

Privet seedling growing right near the adult I took out.

I even found myself pulling weeds!
Who would've thought that I'd be able to yank something like this out of the ground this time of the year (with the help of a pick)?! The ground was not frozen--or more likely had thawed since we had a stretch of overnight temps in the 20s a couple weeks before.  After, removing it, I spent time cutting off all of the berries, tying them up in a shopping bag and throwing them away so they will not germinate, then I added the bush to my brush pile.  Since I'd made a hole in the ground, I thought it best to replace it with a native shrub.  Luckily for me, my "pot ghetto" still has several red-twig dogwoods that needed to be planted.  This wasn't where I'd planned to put any of them, but it is an appropriate spot, I think.

I was THRILLED to be doing something like this out in the yard this time of the year.  It was a reprieve from winter--and made my time off all the more special.

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