Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for December 2017

Our feature photo for this month is of a colony of what I believe is Usnea
longissima, or Methuselah’s Beard Lichen, growing on an apple tree along with some Parmelia sulcata, or Hammered Shield Lichen. They are quite common here, and can be seen hanging about on many trees around the farm.  When these lichens are swollen with rain in winter, distant heavily festooned deciduous trees appear to be clothed in light grey-green leaves, riding out winter alongside their dark green coniferous cousins.

Feature photo for December 2017, Methuselah’s Beard Lichen, growing on an apple tree along with some Parmelia sulcata, or Hammered Shield Lichen. Click on any photo in this post to enlarge.

News from the farm

The month of December passed quickly on our little farm in the Cascade foothills.  The days have been a highly variable mix of cloud, rain and sun, warm to numbingly cold days and many nights below freezing.

Land of the Long Grey Cloud, a southern view from the farm on Christmas day. Many winter mornings begin this way.

Or begin this way, dawn’s colors reflected on the underside of morning clouds.

Or perhaps in misty pastel colors.

Or rose-colored contrails.

Old Man Winter established himself here early on, but seems to be currently occupied with the eastern regions of the country as they experience extremely cold and harsh conditions.  By contrast, our weather here today in western Oregon was in the mid 50s, sunny and pleasant.  We will enjoy his forgetfulness, while we can.

Christmas morning.

Fresh late-season apples were still clinging to trees in the early part of December, including a neighboring tree that has grown branches over the fenceline and over the roof of our shed.

The last hold outs, for birds only now. They were quite tasty and crisp earlier in the month.

The larger, hungry birds have since worked their way down the tree, drilling holes and slashing fruit with their beaks.  They are welcome gleaners.  Everyone must eat.

Daffodils in warmer areas with good southern exposure have already shaken off their slumber and begun the journey back up to the world of light.  Many sport buds, which will remain tightly closed until mid to late January.

Daffodils coming up by the old garage amid purple columbine seedlings on Christmas day.

Wild garlic chives stand tall above winter’s green but slower growing grass.  Pocket gophers tunnel everywhere, mounds piled up and plugged above the entrances.  Life stirs below as well as above.  I note where the tunnels are, and will collect their leavings for the gardens and barrel planters.

Gopher mounds amid the wild garlic chives.

As the afternoon comes to a close, a gibbous moon hangs in the eastern sky, white and marbled, like quartz tumbled by the sea.  My mother called such treasures cast up by the waves moonstones, and I think of her when I see the moon, looming large over the horizon, ghostly pale against a fading blue sky.  Another year has passed;  I am another year older, acutely aware of my own time and its passage here.  Mercury vapor and high pressure sodium barn and utility pole lights will soon glow like blue-green and orange stars on the surrounding hills as the sun dips below the horizon, and last light fades.  The sky is mostly clear tonight, and will be down in the 20s by morning.  A visit from Jack Frost and his silver brush is expected to close out the year.

We are thankful for all that we have, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures at this time of year.

An important and timely message for the world from the producers of these cheery and colorful crocus bulbs.

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

Correspondent Nano, ever watchful.

Resident Feline Correspondent Mr. Nano has observed much from his window this month, and has once again sent the photographer out to investigate. Without further ado, Mr. Nano will present his findings.

The winter solstice has passed, and slowly, imperceptibly, the days are lengthening.  The foxes have continued to be sighted near the border of the hazelnut grove; their nightly vocalizations are muted by windows closed against the cold.  Out in the grove itself, life stirs.  A plump squirrel has taken up residence in the old ash tree, nest visible up high.   He will need to exercise caution when foraging below; many would find him a good source of much needed calories at this time of year.  In protected areas, the Lilliputian forests of ferns, mosses and lichens abound.

Ferns growing at the base of the old feral apple tree, one of the guardians of the tunnel to the back lot.

Mosses and lichens on a hazelnut tree.

Possible signs of nutria have been sighted in the form of small tunnels coming out of the underbrush leading to areas where the grass has been clipped short.  We have noted that the last set of nutria that lived here liked to “farm” an area, keeping a patch of grass clipped short to provide tender growth for their dining pleasure.  Fresh scat has not been found, however, or an actual nutria sighted this season.  The presence of foxes about may have left them more wary.

A young blacktail doe, probably one of this year’s fawns, wandered through the orchard, casually nibbling grass.  We found it surprising that they appear to urinate by squatting like a cat.  The photographer was too slow at getting the camera to catch this in progress.

Pruning of the vineyards has commenced, as it does each December, beginning in the table grapes, and ending in the pinot noir vineyard behind the deer fencing. 

Unpruned vine in the foreground. Vines pruned back to two canes in the row behind.

A venerable old table grape vine pruned back to two canes.

Cuttings have been made of the Glenora Black Seedless table grapes, and started in pots filled with gopher mound dirt.  The pots will remain in the drainage area for now to keep them wet until bud break.

Glenora Black Seedless cuttings potted up for the winter.

December has been sunnier and drier than the previous year, leaving many days to observe clouds forming in the blue rivers of moisture above.

A view from the back lot looking west.

Multilevel cloud formations, all floating at their point of buoyant density.

Friends of the farm have sent us identification and propagation challenges.  Anyone having experience propagating wild Columbia Lily from seed is encouraged to contact me.  Columbia Lily is a native lily with a tall stalk, orange tiger lily like flowers, and seed pods similar to Columbine.

This photo was sent by a friend in Cornelius who lives in a house previously owned by an avid gardener, who may be deceased at this time and unavailable for questions.  We believe this plant is in the mallow family.   A positive ID is requested.  Readers may click on the photo to enlarge.

A kind of mallow, perhaps?

Father Time continues his slow, steady tread into the coming year, taking us with him.  We see the changes in the land, and feel the changes in ourselves.  Everything is temporary, including ourselves.  Choose wisely, plant happiness wherever possible.  We wish all our readers a peaceful and bountiful year ahead.

Resident Feline Correspondent Nano, reporting for Salmon Brook Farms

Correspondent Nod, decided to have an eye to eye conversation with Rick regarding the vineyard.

Correspondent Blynken (left) and retired Correspondent Willow (right), warming themselves in the winter sun.

Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

I am enjoying the winter hours of slower days, long cool nights, and more time to spend on music. I completely burned out in 2015 during the last year Rick’s mother was alive and with us, trying to work part-time, play music and provide round the clock care, resulting in my taking 2016 off entirely to recover my health. This has been a year of slowly regaining my sea legs as a performer.

For those readers who are new or catching up, the Salmon Brook Farms YouTube channel now has content, and our first Tiny Farm Concerts one song music video was posted at the end of March. I am 14 years older and a good bit more grey since my first and only CD was released back in 2003, but still in the saddle. It has been an interesting ride, with more to come! Do keep an eye on more content appearing from time to time, now that the harvest season, and holiday season, has passed.

For those who have missed previous posts and wish to view the channel content, here are links to the previous two videos.

The Orchard, our distributor, has placed some of our music from the Keepsake CD on YouTube. Anyone wishing to see the entire track listing and stories behind the songs should visit my personal page under MUSIC in the menu at the top of this post. Depending on what country you live in, the music placed on YouTube by The Orchard may be blocked. Readers can also access some songs from the CD via the old IUMA archive site. See https://archive.org/details/iuma-lavinia_ross

In the meantime, in your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep your own local music alive. Go out and see someone you don’t know, host a house concert, download songs or buy CDs. Or even just stop for a minute to hear someone at a Farmers’ Market. Live, local musicians provide a wealth of talent most people will never hear about in this age of iPods, Internet and TV.

Bookings and home-grown produce:

Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms

http://home.earthlink.net/~redwine5
https://salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com

A primrose in winter, photo taken 12/30/2017. This plant was being thrown away, and found sitting out by a dumpster, sad and dehydrated. It was rescued and planted out front here at the farm. It has rewarded us with blooms for years, even in winter.

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72 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for December 2017

  1. Timothy Price says:

    Happy New Year! I wish you and Rick, your felines and pesky gophers and other wild critters a wonderful and prosperous 2018. Things look great from you wonderful photos. Really nice misty Christmas morning. Then there’s those pesky gophers. We have lots of them, as well. We don’t have anything that blooms outside this time of year. We have been getting daytime temps of 50 to 60 degrees, but the frosty cold nights that are always in the low teens, often dropping to single digits, are not very encouraging to the plants. It’s so dry we don’t get frost on the cars. We’ve gone something like 85 consecutive days without precipitation. Good to see a few of your felines and read the report from kitty corespondent Nano.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Tim, and for the kind comments! We haven’t had single digits, yet. I think the coldest night has been down around 22 degrees. Friends and relatives back on the east coast are getting hit hard with the really cold temperatures now. I am glad we are not living back there anymore!

      Give our best to Laurie, Tristan and the critters. How is the boa doing? I haven’t seen any photos of her on your site in a while now. Is she OK?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Timothy Price says:

        The boa is doing great. She’s always hungry, but now that it’s a little cooler in her cage, she’s not begging quite as much. I need to feed her pretty soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Herman says:

    Hi Lavinia! Wishing you, Rick and your loved ones all the best and a Happy New Year! Looking forward to read more posts of you in 2018.

    Mr. Bowie says “Meow!” and sends his regards to the cat crew and everyone from Salmon Brook Farms!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So good to see you and Mr. Bowie, Herman! All the cats and crew here at Salmon Brook Farms send you and Mr. Bowie the Great Grey Hunter a big “Meow” and best wishes for 2018! We look forward to seeing your reports from Belgium, and are so glad to hear Mr. Bowie’s eye is all better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder if gophers are what we call ‘moles’ in Britain…. we’ve seen lots of similar mounds on our travels over the past couple of days.

    Nice that the birds have some apples to eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am delighted to read your December post on this last day of the year. It seems a fitting conclusion to the year somehow, seeing the preparation and new growth stretching towards 2018. I hope 2018 will be a calm and good year for you all. At the moment I am not thinking too much ahead. Mostly I am just thankful I have made it to the end of 2017. If all goes well, we will be celebrating my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary on Feb 7th. My father however is very frail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always so good to see you Gallivanta, and thank you so much for the kind comments! I know well what you mean about being thankful for making it to the end of the year, and not thinking too much ahead. Congratulations to your parents coming up on 70 years together! They will be in my thoughts and prayers, especially your father.

      Wishing you a peaceful and plentiful 2018, Gallivanta. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Lavinia, for keeping my father in mind. He’s a trooper but this may have been my last New Year greeting to him. How lucky we are to have such easy telecommunications these days.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by Derrick, and for the kind comments! Music is just something I enjoy doing. Mr. Nano is a very smart cat, and learns quickly. 🙂

      The cats and crew wish you and Jackie a bright, peaceful and plentiful 2018. May all good things come your way!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As always I thrill upon seeing a new post from my dear friends. I am looking forward to the continued updates during 2018, as well. Lavinia, your voice expresses the kind and sweet nature of your soul. Rick, I don’t know much of anything about making wine, except what your feline correspondents tell me, but it looks like you’re doing a great job. Willow, great to see you are still with Blynken and Nod to guide them in their reports.
    Wishing all of you the very best in 2018 – and keep smilin’ !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, GP, and for the kind comments! Always so good to see you, and keep those stories about WWII in the Pacific coming! I’ve just started playing music in the lobby at a local airport for passengers coming and going, and those waiting to pick up friends and loved ones. It is good to be a part of making the environment peaceful and relaxing.

      Rick is our grape grower, and grape selector. That’s me making the wine. 🙂 I also root cuttings for Rick for planting. Rick is our master chef, so that is him making Christmas dinner too.

      Old Willow is holding her own. The vet remarked that she is “ancient”. We are figuring she is somewhere around 22 years old. We just got her through a urinary tract infection, and she is doing better now. She has a congenital defect where the neck of her bladder doesn’t close, so she leaks urine, especially when she sleeps. She has her own towels and bedding. I do a lot of laundry. 🙂

      Michael’s tree is safe. I had to barricade that line of redwoods against the deer this fall. I’ll post a picture after the barricades come off in spring and I’ve properly tidied up the area. That young tree is still strong and proud, and full of character. 🙂

      Wishing you and your family all the best in 2018, GP! 🙂

      Like

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Pat, and for the kind comments! The cats and crew of Salmon Brook Farms wishes you all the best for 2018. It is wonderful to see a blog site dedicated to libraries!

      Like

  6. I have been there as if again 🙂 Thank you dear Lavinia, Beautiful photograpsh, especially these lichens and also sunny skies fascinated me. I wish you and Rick and also your lovely cats and your farm, Blessing and Happiness, 2018 be yours this year, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Nia, and for the kind comments! Rick, all the cats and I wish you and you family blessings and happiness in 2018. And thank you so much for all your wonderful posts about the Cats of Istanbul and your scenic Turkish countryside. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Carol, and the kind comments! Mr. Nano is somewhere between 10 and 12 years old now. Being a white cat, he is showing a little thinning of the hair at the temples, and he prefers a nice warm bed which may account for his philosophical view of the passing of time. 🙂 Most of our cat crew are now between 10 and 22 years old, Willow being the oldest. The Three Sisters are the youngest at 4 years old. The time with them all passes all too quickly, and I wouldn’t mind if Father Time dragged his feet a little. 🙂

      Wishing you and your family, Ivy and Romy a wonderful new year ahead. Happy 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Blessed are you Lavinia to live in this privileged area in Oregon: sweet temperature in December, Daffodils in peparation,Usnea on the trees indicator of no pollution, and life on multiple forms all around . Without sppaking of the changing sky and the inspiring moon.
    About the unknown flower It is probably a malvacaea . At first sight I thought it was SAPONARIA (CARYOPHYLLACEA) but at watching closer I saw the immportant pistil surrounded with stamens , so i thought indeed it was a malvacae.
    Happy new Year to you both
    Love ❤
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A very Happy New Year to you, Rick and all your cat family! You have seen some lovely blue skies and interesting cloudscapes recently and I loved the photo of the lichen! I had a look at the pink-flowered plant and I agree that it is probably a mallow! I am not an expert and there are so many different types of mallow 🙂
    We are having a very windy and wet end to the year with all our rivers having burst their banks. We needed the rain but not necessarily the floods!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Clare, and that you for the kind comments! A Happy New Year to you and your family, too!

      It is lichen heaven here. 🙂

      Yes, so many types of mallow and it can be very confusing. I didn’t get to see the plant in bloom, only the dried stalk and a few leaves left this past week when Rick and I were up there. The leaves remind me a little of hollyhock. Perhaps I’ll get to see it in bloom this year.

      Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers for a safe winter with minimal flooding.

      I fished your comment out of SPAM. I have no idea why you were in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Goodness the lichens are impressive. Such a lush temperate place you live in. It was only 23 degrees here today and will fall to around 3 tonight. Cold. Happy new year to you and all the denizens of your farm, especially the reporters….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Stopping by to wish you Happy New Year, Lavinia! And to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts about the land, and the news from your feline correspondents, throughout the year. The lichen is so fascinating! We are staying in with the pets tonight so I got a chance to listen to some of your music. You have a lovely voice! All the best, from Leah, and Ultraviolet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments, Catwoods! So good to see you! I am very pleased that you enjoy the posts and the music, and the cats and crew send their very best to you, Leah and Ultraviolet for the coming new year.

      The Pacific Northwest is lichen heaven. Fungi does very well here!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy New Year, dear Lavinia! Thank you for this and every beautiful newsletter throughout the year. Life seems peaceful and lovely through your eyes. I love all the photos, but the moss you chose as header is fabulous, as is the one of Rick and Nano. Congrats on the YouTube channel. Your music is wonderful, and you are so generous to share it. Wishing you both (and all the kitties) a healthful, joyous, wonder-filled year. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Teagan, and for the kind comments on the blog and the music! I look for the peaceful and lovely wherever I can find it, and bring it into the foreground in my life. So much of the other side is cast at us daily from the news media, I need get out and look for the good things. Most often they are underfoot, high in a tree, or padding about on four feet. 🙂

      There is a publication I came across when I was down in California a number of years ago. I picked up a copy in a coffee house, and the message stuck with me. It’s called Sonoma County’s Upbeat Times “Where No Bad News is…Good News” What a concept for a news magazine! I wish it would catch on.
      http://upbeattimes.com/

      Many hugs back to you and Crystal, and best wishes for the new year. May all good things come your way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Love it, Lavinia. I’ve often thought how great it would be to have a “good news” channel, but not sappy stories. There is good out there, advances in science, fascinating weather, things that help the planet… all sorts of good things that qualify as news. More hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello Salmon Brook ! I’m amazed at how things grow in the winter in your slice of heaven. Ferns, Daffodils, a thankful Primrose and even the grasses are green! That just amazes me because in my mind, you don’t even live that far away 😀

    We’ve just come through a two week Arctic Vortex to beat all. Many communities in Alberta, had the coldest days on record. But finally yesterday, it’s warmed up and almost feels like spring after that weather. I do recognize the Mallow. A friend of a friend has a very large patch of super tall Mallow in the summer. I don’t know the exact name though. Isn’t it pretty!?

    I guess one plus is, gardeners here get the winter off, ha! Your correspondents are so lovely. Blynken and Nod are so pretty and retired Willow has the sweetest face. Kitty’s are such good company. Since I’m home everyday, my little loves are my own fabulous fan club. Hugs all around ! Cheers my dears ❤ Boomdee

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boomdee! Good to see you stop by from the frozen northland of Canada! We are fortunate to live on the western side of the Cascade Range, so our weather is relatively moderate. We have been hit by the Polar Vortex in past years, and I don’t care to see it return. Summer is our dry season, and grass turns from lush green to brown and tinderbox dry. In late autumn, when the rain returns, all becomes green again. Dandelions bloom as I write, although they are keeping low to the ground.

      Thank you for the plant ID. You and Michel agree on mallow, which is what I was thinking too. The malvaceae are a large family with over 4000 species.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malvaceae

      Yes, kitties are such good company! And with nine of them here, we are never lonely. Never a dull moment!

      Hugs to you, Boomdee, and wishing you and your family a bright and beautiful 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah, Lavinia, do I wish I had your weather this week!! With 20 mph winds and gusts to 35, and temps dropping to below 10˚ tonight, whatever you have sounds better! I particularly love the Christmas morning photograph – so misty and lovely. I’m fascinated by the mosses and lichen – I don’t see that here. Now maybe if I roamed some forests more, I would, but in my general meanderings, nothing like that. Happy New Year to you, Rick, and the fabulous felines!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Jeanne! Many thanks for the kind comments, too! Friends and relatives back east have been keeping up to date as to what is going on in their particular area. I hear even Florida has ice on the freeways. Stay safe and warm there.

      I remember mosses and lichens from back in New England. They are there for the finding, and some can be encouraged to grow in your garden, or even in a terrarium. One blog you might enjoy is https://nhgardensolutions.wordpress.com/ He covers very thoroughly what can be found back in eastern woodlands.

      Wishing you all the best with your graphic design services at https://jeannebalsamgraphics.com/ May 2018 bring all good things to you, Jeanne.!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hooray! Yoru December post is here! Daffodils sending up shoots, lichen growing on (old?) apple trees, and so on and so forth! Though I regret to inform you, Human Lavinia, that Correspondent Nano’s part of the post is competing with yours in its newsiness and observations of life on the farm. Correspondent N. is a scribe and journalist all in one!

    My best to you, Rick, and the Correspondents — for a great new year of wine, fruit and vegetables and great nature writing from Salmon Brook Farms. I envy you that 50+ degree weather too. We are snowed under here in Southern Ontario.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So good to see you, Cynthia! Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments! Correspondent Nano is a quick study, and thoroughly enjoys his work. It is hard for me to keep up with him these days. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your moral support behind my writing, Cynthia. To know that you enjoy it is a great honor for me, and helps keep me at it.

      Our weather this winter has been mild, especially in comparison to the east coast and Canada. Friends and relatives have been keeping us up to date on weather patterns in their own particular regions. The agricultural forecast is for warmer than normal weather patterns here in our area. We will see what spring brings us. I am continually grateful we moved to western Oregon. 🙂

      May all good things come to you and your family in 2018. Keep on loving your shell; it is beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Steve, and a Happy 2018 to you! Our area is heaven for lichen lovers. 🙂 Yes, the reference to “Land of the Long Grey Cloud” in that photo was a play on New Zealand’s “Land of the Long White Cloud”. The Willamette Valley in winter feels like the Land of the Long Grey Cloud, as that is mostly what we see – long grey clouds for days on end. I am probably not the only one here in Oregon to have come up with that expression. 🙂

      Like

      • Ah, so the hunch about NZ was correct. By coincidence, my post tomorrow will show a long white cloud, though from Austin and not Aotearoa.

        As much as I’d like the lushness of your forests, with their lichens and mosses, the pervasive cloudiness and raininess of the Pacific Northwest would make it hard for me to live there. Is where you are sunnier than near the ocean?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll look for post tomorrow, Steve!

        Summers here are what people live for. There is little to no rain from the end of June through early October. The temperature can swing between 40 to 50 degrees from day to night, being in the 90s or low 100s during the day down into the 40s at night. The coldest morning I saw was a 38 degrees morning in July one year. The “rainy season”, as I call it, can get a bit tedious, but I find it livable, and far better than shoveling tons of snow like I did back in New England. We are in the Cascade Range foothills, so I think it is a bit drier and sunnier in winter than on the west side of the Coast Range.

        For temperature swings, check out the Van Duzer corridor:

        Like

  15. At least I made it here in the first month of the year! I’ve taken these cold, icy days we’re had to catch up with a good many things, including reading some blogs that I enjoy devoting closer attention to — like yours. Now and then, I read sections from your feline correspondent aloud to Miss Dixie Rose, in hopes that exposure to good feline writing may inspire her!

    I enjoyed all of your sunrise photos, and the lichens. What surprised me most was your mention of nutria. We have them in abundance, but I’d always assumed they were confined to southern, swampy (or at least watery) areas. I was curious about the grape vines, too. Do they handle below-freezing temperatures? I’m wondering how the growers across the bay have managed. It didn’t occur to me until reading your post that they might have suffered some losses in our recent hard freeze/icing. Perhaps I’ll go that direction this weekend, and see how things fared.

    I do hope your 2018 is a good one, productive in every sense. A life filled with music, natural beauty, good food, and good community is a blessing. May your blessings increase!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for all the kind comments on the blog, the photos and the writing, especially the cat report. 🙂 It is always good to see you, Linda, whenever you get here. I have fallen way behind myself, with one relative now in Hospice, and two elder friends who have died within a couple of weeks of each other. One of them passed away just this morning. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed.

      Nutria are alive and well in Oregon! They can survive low temperatures, to an extent. I am located in western Oregon, which is fairly mild compared to east of the Cascade Range. These USGS maps show current distribution of Nutria in the U.S., and around the world.
      https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?speciesid=1089
      https://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/special/nutria/

      Grape vines can withstand sub-freezing temperatures, although they can die back to the roots, as sometimes happens in eastern Washington. I have seen single digit temperatures here some winters, and our vines did not suffer damage. Where we sometimes get into trouble is when we have a mild winter and early bud break, followed by a cold, wet spring and late frosts.

      Thank you so much for your best wishes and blessings in 2018! We try to enjoy life here as much as possible, and definitely appreciate music, natural beauty, good food, and good community, including our blogging community. 🙂 May all good things come to you in 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. With Appalachian Mountain temperatures hovering around 10 – 20F day and night, I said to my wife, optimistically that the daffodils will be up in another 6 wks. In the meantime, we are keeping the wood stoves burning cheerfully inside.
    -Oscar

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Nano is a fine observer and a great correspondant .
    I wonder now Lavinia, how your January month is ? Probably you got snow but it is not sure since you have a special weather there .
    Here in Amiens we had not any snow only a slight freeze . nOT ENOUH for the ground but a lot of rain !
    Love ❤
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

    • So good to see you, Michel! Yes, our Mr. Nano is a fine observer and a great correspondent. 🙂

      Our winter has been milder than normal, and the weather sounds similar to yours over in Amiens, Framce. We have not seen any snow here yet, but sometimes can also be surprised by a snowstorm in March or April. The lowest temperature we have seen so far was back in December, 22 degrees Fahrenheit, or roughly -5.5 degrees Centigrade. We have had some days as high as 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit also! It is a strange winter weather pattern.

      Much love to you, Janine and the family from all of us here. ❤
      Lavinia

      Like

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