With temperatures soaring in Kansas today, it is no wonder this little cardinal decided to treat himself to a cool bath this morning. Doesn’t that look refreshing?
We used to have a beautiful American Linden Tree in front of our house. That is, it was in front of our house until this morning and it was beautiful until last summer. Even though we watered it regularly last year, it suffered from drought and heat stress as was evident by the fact that it dropped its leaves late in the summer rather than after they had turned golden in the autumn as it had in previous years. That worried me. Then, to my relief, this spring it set leaf buds. Unfortunately, it set them just in time for the buds to get frozen when we had snow in early May. That was it for our Linden tree. Though it tried to come back, it was mostly dead. The city came and cut it down this morning, since it was on the city’s easement. Now part of the front yard will receive much more summer sun than it has in years. I shall have to observe this area in the coming weeks to determine whether any of the perennials need to be moved to a cooler location. I was sad to see the tree go. I had been pruning it for the past 13 years and really liked its shape.
The Linden tree last summer, lush with leaves …
Its leaf buds, killed off by cold temperatures in May …
The tree did manage to produce a few little shoots on the trunk after May’s freeze, but they were not going to be enough to allow it to thrive.
And so it went …
I’m not used to seeing our house without the tree in front. This will take a little getting used to. Luckily, there are still a lot of tall trees around.
Have a great day!
Even by Kansas standards, our recent weather has been unusually variable. It has been gorgeous and sunny the past few days with high temperatures in the mid-80′s. (In case you don’t remember, we had snow last week.) The warm weather has stimulated plants to put on a lot of growth and it is really starting to look like Spring; and yet cold weather is supposed to roll back in tomorrow with the chance of snow Thursday and Friday. That would be snow in May – not very good for the garden, even if it doesn’t stick around. So, I decided that I’d better enjoy the flowers while they last and get some photos of them today. I’m so glad that I did. Photographing flowers makes one stop and really look at them. What a nice thing!
It has been snowing here almost all of this, the last day of December … a heavy, wet snow with great big flakes, making the day grey and quiet and the end of the year rather sleepy-feeling. Below are a few pictures that I took early this afternoon. And as the day turns to evening, the snow continues to fall.
Wishing you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and the very best in 2013!
Fortunately the worst of Winter Storm Draco, which passed through the midwest last night and this morning, missed us in Manhattan, Kansas; but we did receive our first snowfall of the year. Here are some pictures that I took this morning. It was quite cold, by the way – in the teens early on. Brrr …. I kept having to pop back in the house because my fingers were going numb and I couldn’t adjust the controls on my camera. I’m glad to be inside and warm again!
Going through my photo library, looking for images of winter, I came across this photo that I took 5 years ago today. It was a good reminder of the ice storm that struck Manhattan, Kansas and large parts of the midwest in 2007. Parts of town were without power for 10 days. As pretty as it was, brrr … it was cold!
Though the temperatures have gotten quite cold – a low of 9 degrees F. yesterday – I’ve still heard a few people expressing a wish for some real winter weather. But let us be careful what we wish for.
Like the rest of the American Midwest, Kansas has been experiencing a severe drought this year. In Manhattan, we are 13 inches below average rainfall as we approach year’s end. I was reminded of that statistic this morning. Heading out to the Konza Prairie to take photos of the changing seasons, I was struck by how low the Kansas River was when I crossed the bridge over it; so I pulled over into a boat launch area take pictures of the low water. It appeared quite shallow. I can’t imagine boating here.
The other side of the riverbed is just below the trees in the background.
The picture below is of one of the old bridge supports. (The new bridge, above, is not far away.) If you look closely, you can see where the river is trickling past in the background.
I decided to take the opportunity to photograph some of the native plants that had bloomed earlier in the year.
While doing so, I stumbled upon this piece of driftwood. For a split second, I thought that it was a rattle snake. Afterward, I was rather keen to get back in my car.
When I got to the prairie, several of the creek beds were bone dry.
The deeper ones had a little water. Small plants were thriving in the puddles at the edges where the water was drying up.
But overall, it is pretty darned dry.
It was with some sentimentality that I photographed the garden yesterday. I knew that a freeze was predicted for last night, a sure sign that garden will be winding down for the year. As I sit here and write before sunrise, it is 30 degrees F. outside; and though it is toasty warm in the B&B, I know that once the sun comes up and I take a look around, I’ll see that some of my flowers and herbs have been nipped by the cold. It will take cooler temperatures to make the hardy perennials and shrubs go dormant for the winter. In fact, if the day time temperatures are warm enough, the ground cover roses will keep producing blooms for up to 4 more weeks, but the other roses are almost done for the year. The chrysanthemum plants will be fine, but probably not the flowers. The asters, which put out one big flush of flowers every year in late October have had their show, though they will have color for a little longer.
Aster ‘Raydon’s Favorite’
Rose ‘Memorial Day’
Chrysanthemum ‘Diana’ with Ground Cover Roses
White Rose (unknown variety)
White Mum (unknown variety)
Crape Myrtle Foliage
It was a beautiful sunrise. After serving breakfast, I did a brief inspection of the garden. I lost the what was left of my hibiscuses, the potted impatiens, a few hostas, all of my Autumn Joy sedums, and some of the chrysanthemums. Overall, not too bad.
Sunrise This Morning