Tag Archives: weather

Spring Things

Being as we’re up here in the Frozen North (Zone 3, on a good day), we’re a little behind the times when it comes to Spring. Saranac Lake (“town”) is slow enough, and we’re even behind them over here in the valley. Seems like it finally arrived for good this past weekend though – 80F during the day, and consistent evenings above freezing. Here’s a few shots of the up-and-comers around The Pines.

Day lilies and some perennials that I bought a bunch of … I forget. Need to do a little weeding!

Snow peas started from seed indoors are doing nicely!

Hosta – my very favorite. We have tons of it, and I just bought some more.

And of course, plenty still to plant. Lavender for along the side of a new rock wall, butterfly bush, three blueberry bushes, more hosta, and there’s a big basket of wildflower and veg seeds!

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Monday to Tuesday


It’s already on it’s way to melting. 70F by Saturday.

In indoors news, I felt worse Wednesday than when I fell on Tuesday. Muscles and all. A little queasy. Jammed finger. My super-sweet friend brought me a big container of homemade beef stew, biscuits, and drinks. Dinner in a box, so we would not have to cook. And another friend, when she heard I had a fall, made other after school arrangements for her son, rather than sending him to me for his piano lesson. I didn’t even need to call her. I was able to rest up all day. Sweet, sweet people.

And now, besides the fact that I need to get back to work, I need to apply sneaker to butt and buck up. So, let’s find our inspiration in the Small Pines Zen Quote of the Day.

“The Great Way is not difficult. Just cease to cherish opinions.”
-The Third Zen Patriarch

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Starting ‘Em Early in the Adirondacks

It snowed this morning.

A little. I don’t mind. It was melted and gone by afternoon, and I still went outside to do early Spring things. I shoveled some extra crushed stone I had sitting around into the wheelbarrow and took it over to fill some ruts in the driveway. Took the Christmas lights off the spruce trees, now that the cords are not buried in ice. I took some time to notice the robins and chickadees that have returned. The day lilies are poking up on the sunny side of the yard. The rhubarb is peeking out. Soon I’ll be raking the thatch out of the grass in the side yard, and planting new seed in the front.

Seems like it’s about time? Not so. Not way up here. Plants peeking up and birds returning in mid-March is highly unusual. It’s nice to see the plants coming alive outside, but my March gardening efforts are mostly concentrated indoors.

I started seeds indoors today – just the medium-to-hardy veggies. Spinach, swiss chard, carrots, peas, lettuce. The less hardy warm-weather stuff will go directly into the garden.

Didn’t exactly have a panic attack over it, but I ended up getting such conflicting advice, I decided to hedge my bets. One very experienced friend says never to start peas, beans, chard, corn, radishes, lettuce. Another says that because mine are in individual peat pots (and their roots won’t be disturbed), I’m fine.

So, I started half the seed, and saved the other half for later. If the starts are fine, I’ll have seed to plant for a second crop. If the starts are a disaster, I still have extra seed to direct sow. At any rate, they’re planted, for better or for worse.

Like most things, I think this Adirondack cold-weather gardening thing is going to come down doing a little experimentation and finding what-works-for-me/you.

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The Big Melt

Well, friends, I do fear for the fate of the half-built Saranac Lake Ice Palace. TourPro suggested they cover it with giant tarps. I don’t think that’s such a bad idea. For all I know, they have. Haven’t been into town this morning. We’re thinking of you, Ice Palace!

It is melting around here, folks. 50F, and raining. My five foot snowbanks are down to about three feet. The roofs are clear. The chicken coop roof is about clear at this point. The cabin had about 18 inches of snow and ice yesterday. I took this photo of the cabin roof early this morning – it’s completely clear now that the rain is coming down.

The RV roof is completely clear – no ice now, no snow. I guess that’s a good thing. A day of rain is a small price to pay, I suppose.

The yard (which I shovel for the dog anyway) had about a one or two-inch base, but that’s gone now too. That little White Pine used to be buried just about to the top. The yard (and the short downhill stretch to the chicken house) was water-on-ice when I went out this morning. It’s a bit better now, softened up by the rain. Realizing that I would be staying inside today, I decided to go over to the store to get some butter. Gonna make an applesauce cake. I think it probably took me five minutes to skitter my way up the pictured path and over to the store – almost lost it a time or two.

Speaking of – You missed a spectacular slip-and-fall performance this morning. On my way out to wake up the chickens and put them out in the pen … yeah, I did it. I might have actually been airborne for a few seconds there. ShOOOO – up in the air backwards … plop. Followed by imagined applause as I lied there staring at an Adirondack sky. While I was carrying a big scoop full of chicken feed and carrying a jug of water. The two people I’ve seen so far this morning also indulged in the Early-Morning-Slip-and-Fall. I’ll leave you with the evidence. See that pile of chicken feed and the water jug cap? This was the site of my comic performance.

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July to January

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Shovel the Hovel

You might expect that I’d write a post about the trials of shoveling out from the snow storm we just had here in the Adirondacks. Not so.

Truth is, I love shoveling snow.

Now, now. Before we get into the whole your-opinion-will-change thing, I have to say – I don’t think it will. Remember, New York City does have snow, and I did live in an apartment with a 30′ deck and a stoop and sidewalk. I always wished for more. I love shoveling snow, and with the snowblower as an accessory, it’s even more fun. This week, I shoveled and plowed three properties – our own, and the two large driveways and decks at friend’s place across the street. Loved it.

Pics today are from our place. All told, I think we probably got six or eight inches the past few days, which wasn’t so terrible. Parts of the neighbor’s place and mine were drifted three feet or more, but for me, that just makes it more fun. I think snow clearance (like my beloved Summer lawn mowing) appeals to both my creative side and my sense of organization. I love getting the edge of the bank just the way I want it. In fact, I frequently go back after finishing an area, because “That edge could go over a few more inches. It would look better.”

In addition to the neighbor I am helping out, we have a short(ish) dog, so he needs snow shoveled too! No matter, it’s just more outdoor fun for me. And let’s not forget the chickens – a path has to be clear to the chicken house, and if the snow has drifted much, I have to shovel the chicken run a little bit. (Okay, I’ll admit could do without that – one side of the roof on the run is too short for me.)

How are your snow adventures going?

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Froze Hose

16F last night and we RV dwellers are still alive. And showered.

True, living in the Northern Adirondacks (where it will get much colder than 16F) it’s hardly a major achievement. But it’s a nice mile-marker all the same. Our tin home and The Life Recreational being the point, what I mean to say is this – Our water still works, the tanks are operable, and we didn’t expire from exposure last night.

3239166902_e4db5a1c7fAll the same, the water hose was frozen this morning. It was not terribly frozen, because the pump siphons the water back out when I turn it off; but there are still low points where water sits. A few minutes in the sun took care of things. The water hose will need heat tape soon, and I’ll wrap split foam pipe insulation around that. And then I’ll bury it. This all seems to be the standard measure, and most folks report than once taped and insulated, they really don’t have problems. Curiously the local hardware store doesn’t have the flat yellow garden hose-safe heat tape I need. Only the coil kind appropriate for pipes. Off to Plattsburgh, I guess. 

Furnace and indoor warmth factor? No problem at all. We’re warm and safe, and the only thing I really notice is drafty windows that need that shrink-wrap stuff put over them. 

The tanks (underneath) have not frozen at all; but I didn’t think they probably would. They’re pretty tough, and the whole RV is skirted in with 1″ rigid foam insulation at this point anyway. Sometime soon, I’ll put a lightbulb under there and make sure every little crack is sealed – toss some dirt around the bottom and all. When we get decent snow, I’ll pile the snow up around the RV. (An RVgloo?) Many people just use the vinyl fabric skirting, so I’m pretty confident about the rigid foam and a small heat source under there. Seems like we’re getting it all taken care of, and we may just escape without any broken pipes.

Not that I don’t have 45 gallons of water with a stock tank heater in reserve outside the front door!

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