Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Severe Thunderstorms

A beautiful, mostly sunny day here today. We did routine chores, went to a double-birthday party in my family, and we spent a lot of time outside. My dad's farm is now to the point where he doesn't really need my help to clean up from the storm that hit there before Christmas. He has grown a bit weary of the clean-up's immensity. So, he takes weekends off. There is more fence work to do and lots of trees to pile up and burn. There is still a pole barn to put up. But, he is hiring most of that out now that he is getting money from insurance and farm assistance programs.

It is too warm for March with record highs being set locally all around; so warm that ticks are already plentiful in our woods. I got two bites and Jennifer had one. My body overreacts or is allergic or something to tick bites. I won't go into the details but those two bites will bother me now for several weeks before they finally heal - which is why I tend to watch out for ticks. But normally I don't have to worry about that until June.

We had a brief, strong storm here Thursday night. It blew over several trees on my neighbor's property, including a huge old Southern Red Oak that I played under as a kid. The tree crushed my neighbor's Jeep, tore through the garage door, and punctured his roof in three places. A couple of the trees fell in the road as well, blocking our meager amount of traffic. I went down to help him clear them out in the dark with some chainsaw work.

It rained marble-sized hail blowing sideways from south to north for about ten minutes. The balls were hitting our windows so hard I was afraid it might crack them. Luckily, we suffered no damage, just a lot of limbs, some quite large, to clear out of the drive-way and along the trails in our woods.
Part of our backyard. The plentiful rain and warm sunshine has been great for early spring growth. Jennifer is proud of the size of our Yoshino Cherry tree. Its abundant yet delicate pink foliage contrasts nicely with the deep reds of our Loropetalum shrub. The dogwoods throughout our property are rebounding this year. Dozens of young ones are shooting up, tipped with pregnant buds.

Our tulips are in glorious full bloom. We have a little more than 3 dozen all total. But, Jennifer has them propagated in nice clusters that dot her backyard landscape design. Many have returned from previous seasons. Some for their third season. The ones in this pic are my favorite. They returned from last season.

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