Due to the El Niño weather pattern this year, we have just experienced the warmest January ever recorded here – quite a contrast to last year when there was five feet of snow on the ground at this time.
It was absolutely beautiful.
But the snow did make it difficult to maneuver around, much less get anything accomplished outside.
This year we had about a week of below freezing temperatures, and one snowstorm before Christmas which brought us about 6 inches of snow. It only lasted a few days, then the rains washed it away – and that is it for the cold weather and snow this year, at least so far.
Since the weather has been so cooperative, we have been able to work on some of our many outside projects. The first was to put chicken wire around the trees in the orchard so the chickens could “free range” there. The chickens probably wouldn’t do any damage to the young fruit (apples, cherry, plum and peach) trees, but they would annihilate my daffodils and tulips planted all around the trees. We also fenced them out of the perennial beds of strawberries and asparagus.
It is the best of both worlds for the chickens; they roam around in the fresh air and eat all the greens and bugs they want, and the 6 foot fence keeps them safe from the critters around here that would eat them.
The weather has been so mild that the tulips are starting to come up already! The locals predict that we will have another freezing spell in the spring – I hope not.
We have also been working on putting in a road back to the shed.
The job has been a lot easier since we have our favorite neighbor Roger’s tractor to use and the ground is dry enough to use it.
Rick moved a big cedar log which will be the edge for the gravel we will put down.
The mild weather has been fine for us, but it is really hard for the people planning the Winter Olympics in a few weeks in Vancouver (about 120 miles north of here) as they are in the same El Niño weather pattern and there is not a lot of snow there either. Most of the events taking place in Vancouver are indoor, but there are a few outdoors which require snow. There were pictures in the paper of them using straw bales and dirt to build ramps and then putting what little snow they have on the top like frosting. The good news is there is enough snow farther up (75 miles) in the mountains at Whistler which is where skiing and mountain events will take place.
We know from experience most winters won’t be this easy, but we are enjoying this one.