Sunday, February 23, 2020

Gone Fishing

February is nearly spent. We will be glad to move forward on to March with high hopes of an early spring. January broke records as the warmest January in years, while February has broken records for the snowiest February in decades. We would now hope that March, normally our wettest month, keeps that promise because the landscape is winter dry, winter brown, winter dull.

February has been a very busy month, with every week filled. In December I wrote about Wreaths Across American, as our Daughters of the American Revolution chapter sponsored and laid wreaths on patriots' graves at a Ft. Collins cemetery. After the holiday season passed and the cemetery workers picked up the 1500 wreaths that had been laid, various organizations that sold the wreath as fundraisers (Boy Scouts, 4-H, American Heritage Girls and the DAR, Civil Air Patrol) gathered at the city shop to disassemble the wreaths for recycling.

Pine bows are mechanically bound into heavy gage wire frames, so we used pliers to release the boughs. It wasn't hard work, but my hands did get very tired and cold. The pile of wreaths was pretty daunting, but with all of the helping hands the pile disappeared in about 2-1/2 hours. Children as young as 7 hauled the wreaths tot he tables where a line of workers assembled to dismantle the wreaths.

Releasing the wire that held the pine bows in place did require force, but soon we each found our own method that worked best.

The pine bows were piled so that the younger helpers could load them into wheel barrows and haul them to the mulching machine where they would be ground by city workers into mulch that will be used throughout the cemetery where needed.

I had an opportunity to visit with one of the city workers and asked him exactly how the wreath materials were reused. Bows, of course, were not recycled, but the wire frames are recycled as rebar for cement foundations, so very little goes to waste. The organic material goes back in the environment and the nonorganic matter substitutes for more commonly used material. 

The end is in sight as the pile of 1500 wreaths has been conquered.

Last week the Garden Spot became a bit of a winter wonderland with a dusting of snow, looking like the landscape had be sprinkled with glistening glitter. I had to get outside to take a few photos.

 The beauty doesn't last, for as soon as the sun burns its way through the foggy cloud layer, the crystals disappear.

Lilac seed pods take on new beauty decorated with the delicate crystals.

 With the snow finally melted, the landscape does look pretty bare and boring. 

But take a closer look and you see the daffodils forcing their way thorough the soil. I can't wait for their glorious, golden blooms.

Even the tulips at the front step have a early start.  I am always caught off guard when I see them this soon.

Inside, I'm putting a roof on the big dollhouse, a massive and intimidating job. Affixing the chimney has been long procrastinated because it I feared that I couldn't get it to stay in place. 

The chimney is made of plater of paris bricks, making the chimney heavy, but I use Gorilla wood glue that held it in place very nicely.

You can read more about the dollhouse roofing project over at my dollhouse blog: Ann's Dollhouse Dreams

A few weeks ago, the Head Gardener discovered that pond had been drained nearly to the bottom when a hose froze causing the filter to overflow rather than circulating the water. It was a near disaster. The thick ice had collapsed, making us worry that the fish had either been crushed or had run out of water. He filled the pond with fresh water, the ice reformed, and we hoped that the fish were fine. Yes, February's cold has had its challenges. 

As the temperature rose this week, the ice melted. With the clean, fresh water, the ponds secretes are revealed, mostly the tangled mess of water lily pots at the bottom, but where are the fish?

The little water garden in the front where 5 little gold fish live, has had it problems, too, mostly ice and leakage. We rescued one little fish entrapped in the ice. I had heard that gold fish survive freezing, so the HG broke off the hunk of ice. We brought it inside and put in a bowl of cold water to thaw him out--unsuccessfully. I don't like such failure. I felt like had let the little guy down. Some will say that it was just a gold fish, but it was born and raised here at the Garden Spot. He was a part of our little world here.

 At the same time, I am most happy to announce that rest of the gold fish in the main pond survived the winter, even Big Boy, the white koi that keeps himself hidden.

Finally on a more serious note, I feel that I should pass on this brief message on suicide prevention. My sister-in-law and I attending a talk at the American Legion on how to offer help when someone is in trouble. We felt necessary to educate ourselves in the name of a beloved family member who passed far too soon by his own hand two years ago this month. Take note of the national 1-800 number available for those who need help. Colorado ranks 9th in the country for suicide deaths and of the 77 in 2018 who took their own lives our young cousin was included. 

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. I'm linking with Angie for Mosaic Monday. Join me there. 

The Last Hollyhock

(Note: if the font in Safari is too small: press option command + keys to zoom your Safari screen.)  Here in Northern Colorado, we are all f...