Monday, January 15, 2024

So Long Absent, So Weak

ProfessorRoush apologizes, my gardening friends, for my long absence from the blog.   I simply haven't had anything particularly interesting to say or show for a quite some time.  Oh, sure, there have been the usual spectacular sunrises such as that illustrated below, first looking West on the morning of December 12th;  I've just been saving them until I had something to say.

A harbringer of the snow soon to come, eh?  And a little turn northward, a pink reflection of the sun to the east tinting the grass below sky.

And then looking East the same morning as I went around the "S" curve and crested the hill leading me to work, an orange horizon ahead:

 And then two days later, a similar sunrise, a repeat of the joyous awakening of a Kansas day:

But, Alas!, I cry, for the more recent days have looked like this:  my back garden two days ago.   Where you can see grass sticking up, the snow is about 5 inches deep, but that drift on the patio in the foreground is closer to 3 feet high.   That's NOT melting anytime soon!

On a less "fisheye" view, with normal perspective, we can all feel sorry for the roses in the foreground.   To the right of the white "post" below (a dead spruce stump that I painted as a stand for a bird feeder), they are in order from left to right, 'Rugelda', 'Madame Hardy', an immature 'John Davis', and 'David Thompson', all fresh from a low of -14ºF that night, with now several nights of that repeated.   The forecast shows another night reaching -9º and then some more "moderate" temps through the weekend before a night down to -7ºF on Saturday next.   I think I'm about to see how winter hardy those Canadians and Rugosa roses really are.

Anyway, if you wonder about the whereabouts of ProfessorRoush, I'm either sobbing intermittently about the plight of my poor roses, shoveling through the 2.5 foot drift that keeps reforming on the front walkway, or, just maybe, marveling in the knowledge that in about a month, it'll be 50ºF and sunny outside some Saturday in February and I'll be clearing garden beds for another year and finding the daffodils pushing up.  


Monday, November 27, 2023

White Now, Not Brown

ProfessorRoush's last post was about how brown the prairie has turned and now (with extreme misgiving), how sorry I am for posting that!   Because yesterday morning, it started to snow.

And snow and more snow came falling from the heavens, blanketing the yard and wiping out the uglies. 

And this morning, 5 inches later, you can see the results for itself, a bumpy thick covering of snow over the backyard, turning a drab landscape into a jeweled foreground for sunrise.   I shouldn't complain, but since snow means cold and shoveling and a general mess of the cars and garages, I find that I actually prefer the drab brown of fall to the icy breath of winter, even if I momentarily forgot while wallowing in my loss of gardening time.

Except for what snow does for the house.   My brick eyesore on the prairie now looks like a scene out of a Norman Rockwell scene in the snow, don't you agree?

And at night, better yet!   I took this one returning home from the pre-game function for the Kansas State-Iowa State game last night; a game played in the snow as some people (not me) think football is meant to be played.   I'm doubly pleased, both because I held the phone steady enough for almost no blurring on this 3-second exposure (it was much darker out than this photo shows), and because the Christmas Tree that we just put up yesterday is visible in the window.

We may have snow, but all seems right in the world this weekend.  I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving holiday and is looking forward to Christmas!

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Brown Out There

Geez, Louise, our fall color sure went away quickly.   It was looking at least a little fall-ish out there a week ago, oranges and russets and reds and yellows and browns everywhere, and now it's gone.   Fade to brown, fade to drab, goodbye leaves.   The weather doesn't show it as it's beautiful and sunny everywhere and still days where it hits 70ºF, but that last cold spell hit the trees hard. 

I'm still encouraged on some warm mornings by the occasional fogs, though.   We had one this week and it set the colors back in place.  Except for this little redbud volunteer off my back patio.   It has given up its leaves but it is holding on hard to those proliferate brown seed pods.   I'll have a bumper crop of redbuds next spring!

On my drive to work, I was struck by the wispy clouds on the east side of town.   This picture may not do it justice, but it was surreal in real life, a landscape draped in the middle of the sky.

I did notice, outside on this foggy morning, that my bald cypress looked particularly drab and around it, the warm morning looks somehow more like winter.   It normally has a little more golden color, but not this year.   Just yesterday, driving, I was listening to a Saturday morning garden show that comes from Topeka and the host was lamenting the lack of fall color in Kansas this year and whining about how fast the leaves came down.   He blamed it on the drought we've had in the summer and fall, and on the quick cold snap of a week ago.   I blame it on Kansas.

Not so bad, it is though, when the fog hides the greater world away and leaves me with a nice, sheltered, view of my garden.   And a warm feeling that it was a good year.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

For the Children

Oh, you thought ProfessorRoush had forgotten about it, my semi-annual rant against STATOMIC, the Seasonal Tyrannical Attempt To Obliterate My Internal Clock?  Well, in vain you hoped, and I tried, I really did, to ignore my feelings and not bore you with my oft-repeated rants and grumblings.   And then came yesterday morning.

It was a beautiful brightly sunny Monday morning yesterday, when, under governmentally-mandated biannual fiat, I awoke once again at an ungodly hour, forcing myself to fitfully wait until the un-Daylight-Savings-time moment came to actually get out of bed and go downstairs and exercise.   Sleep-deprived, of course, even though I fell asleep Sunday night at 9 p.m., the usual diurnal bedtime of my internal clock if not now that of my bedside clock.  Properly limbered up after biking (or, as it is now called "spinning"), shaved, showered, dressed and fed, I went forward into the blinding sunlight to face anew the increased risks of heart attack, stroke, and vehicular accident that kills extra hundreds of Americans in the week after each first Sunday of November.

It's the Children that I worry for most on these time change weeks, the collective, capitalized and cherished Children, who, walking to school, must risk a brush with eternity and my Jeep each day as, stricken by the morning sun, I drive oh-so-carefully to work.   You see, my drive to work in the mornings is directly to the east, near the walking paths to school, and in the evening directly to the west, so I'm treated by the time change to not two such periods yearly, but four, doubling up with a sun who just last week wasn't quite awake when I went to work but now blares again into my face for a few more weeks.  I'll do it all over again in reverse next Spring.    And each time the time changes, the Children are at risk.

Red Hawthorn (Crataegus crusgalli)

And I also worry for the decrepit but hardy crew of morning joggers who poorly choose my gravel road as their path these days.   Just around the bend, I come over a hill and then stare straight into the sun for a few moments.   One day, someday, it's inevitable that I'll bounce a runner off into the grass alongside the road, no matter how carefully I drive, a dull thud and an "oomphf" heard from an unseen obstacle who shouldn't even be there.   I shouldn't be there either but for the arbitrary and senseless control exerted by our witless governments on our every waking moment.

Is there no courageous leader, no champion of legislative processes, who will take on the challenge of ending this insanity?   Who will protect the innocent Children and marathoners from doom by vehicular homicide?  Who will leave my biorhythms and cardiac rhythms untouched and unlegislated so that I don't die on a Monday morning right after the change from Daylight Savings?   I despair, despondent that my tombstone will read "he died on Monday after Sunday" and no one will understand, someday, some future day, in a more sane time when hopefully this madness ends.   Please end it, for the Children if not for me.

(These pictures, of course, have nothing to do with the Time Change, they're just more garden pornography that I wanted to share from my trip to the Amarillo Botanical Gardens.)  

Cranes are good luck!

I love a banana in flower!


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