Alright, things are starting to melt around here, or at least not snow that much anymore. My biggest, unforeseen gripe of late winter turns out to be the large amount of snow that we’ve gotten. I love snow. I love to walk in it, play in it. Even used to ski in the stuff. But in one singular regard, the snow has been a nasty enemy to our little piece of paradise out here in the backwoods of Ohio. And I kick myself for not thinking about it before. In my defense though, we didn’t have this much snow and ice last year, our first winter here.
See the problem is all the snow builds up on our truly phenomenally kick ass steel roof. Then the sun comes out and melts it. And it all slides down. Luckily we have snow rails up there to keep the snow and ice from constantly raining down on unsuspecting civilians below. But the reality is the snow builds up on the rails and then it does come down in huge avalanches of snow and ice at times. So you learn to keep an eye and ear open when going out to the car. It’s not an issue at all if you’re a person.
But if you’re a plant, you’ve got nowhere to run to.
Sadly Mother Nature, by way of roof snow and ice has had a field day massacring our poor little plants that we’ve spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours planting and taking care of. And what the snow isn’t pummeling, I fear the rodents are nibbling on during our super cold winter. The tea plants look like they’re taking the brunt of winter nibbling by rabbits or mice. As for snow, I watched first hand as a pile of snowy ice made a direct hit on an oak leaf hydrangea outside the dining room. There were branches everywhere. Fortunately the wife said she thinks hydrangea grow back from the bottom up every year anyway. What doesn’t grow back from the ground up is the choke berry bush outside my studio window. I was in my office and heard that avalanche land square on top of the poor bush, severing several branches at their base.
It’s so sad to watch. Maybe next year I can invent some sort of devise to protect these bushes. Had I know I would have planted them in slightly different locations; many I planted right at the drip edge of the roof, perfectly lined up for consistent mass destruction from January through February.
Now though, like waiting to see if the bees are alive, all I can do is wait and see what Mother Nature does in the spring. Like anything I suppose, only the strong survive. If our little bush friends were meant to be, then I suppose they’ll have little leaves on them come April or May. If not then we’ll learn from it I guess.
Speaking of bees, Christine ordered two more packages of Italian bees for this Spring. Our philosophy is that our bees probably didn’t make it and we’ve got the equipment for two hives. If our bees did survive it’s not a huge deal to make another stand, and another set of boxes doesn’t cost that much. What does cost more are the bees themselves. I think she said they are now up over $100 a package, vs. like $80 -$90 last year. We placed our order early because we’re hearing there is a shortage of bees this year. As an aside, unless we as a society can start figuring out how to save honey bees, I suspect it’s only going to get worse. I suppose the average Joe will get worried when there are no bees and food prices sky-rocket. Between that and the various droughts this country is experiencing, mundane set backs like snow falling off the roof will be the least worry any of us will have.
How has your winter been going? Are you hopeful for Spring? Do you think your plants and animals fared well?