Thursday, September 7, 2017

Weather woes. . . . . . . . .

 I was up early today knowing the gardening crew we hired would be arriving
 to work on cutting, clearing and removing my lovely overgrown small trees,
 shrubs and plants along the front of the cottage. We are preparing for power
 washing, exterior wood repairs and a fresh coat of paint, so need
 unencumbered access for the carpenters, painters etc.

Memo to self: 
1. In the future cut back on planting everything I fall in love with at the
 garden center.
 2. Engage services of others when it come to keeping up with the big garden
 jobs from here on out.
3. Travel less!

We moved a lot of potted plants ourselves yesterday, ornamental ivy, small
 potted conifers, Summer herbs and fading annuals. Also moved lanterns,
 birdbaths and garden ornaments before heavy rain came late in the day. 
Morning sun at the kitchen window.

Today started with bright sunshine, cooler temperatures, and continued
 until this evening, a near perfect weather day. Hopefully this is not the lull
 before the storm!
No rain expected for a few days but who knows what is going to happen
 when Hurricane Irma makes up her mind as to which direction she will take
 north from Florida this weekend.
We have lived through several hurricanes right here in
 Raleigh even though we're 2 hours inland from the coast - and have had severe
 damage to our home, cars and property. The most intense damage was
from Hurricane Fran which made a landfall here on September 5, 1996.
Fran hit us at night and was a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained
 winds of 115 mph. We were without power for almost two weeks.
   Sadly 26 people were killed here during Fran, and $4.16 billion in damages
 made it the most expensive natural disaster ever for North Carolina. 

Irma is a category 5 packing sustained winds of 175 mph!
We are scared!

Calm in the front garden just after sunrise today.

Mr. Northern Cardinal who seems to love hanging out here in the south, but 
may be safer flying north by Sunday.

Today's garden visitors included the usual cardinals and finches, plus a lovely bright
surprise, a pair of precious goldfinches.

Good pickins' from the garden today - what may well be the last of enough
 basil to make one more batch of pesto to freeze for Winter. One good looking 
jalapeño pepper from my neighbor's plant. . . . . . . .and the rose? 

The last welcome bloom for some time from the pretty rose named PEACE.
This very old plant is now cut down as part of the ground clearing in front of the front
 porch - however she's a sturdy girl so I hope will return later with more fragrant flowers.

My thoughts tonight are with not just my own friends in Florida, but also with you if
 you are there, and your families and loved ones who might live there also. 
I pray you will all be spared injury and damage to your homes. Irma really does look
 like an unforgiving, horrific storm at this time, and now Hurricane Jose is following
 behind and growing stronger. . . . . . . .all of us in the southeast are really scared, 
and that's no lie!


  1. Mary, and I'm concerned for you! Keeping you close in thought, dear friend. These storms are leaving such destruction that I fear for our country. Houston will likely take years to recover.

  2. I'd be scared out of my wits, Mary, if I lived in an area that is likely to be hit by a hurricane! But where to go, what to do? I know people prepare, and I hope you and everyone else out there are not going to suffer much more than a stormy day or two. No power for two weeks? That must have been a very difficult time.

    1. Yes Meike - we are very concerned for the entire US southeast at this point - Irma is being chased now by two more hurricanes all headed this way!

  3. First and most importantly, I hope everyone is safe from the hurricane Mary ...... I cannot imagine how frightening it must be. The UK is known for it's inclement weather but at least it's quietly inclement !!
    The colour of the cardinal is magnificent and, hydrangeas are my favourites. Wishing you well with the decorating ! XXXX

  4. How beautiful to see that red cardinal in your garden, as well as the gold finches. Beautiful birds. I also have a Peace rose, they are hardy and lovely to see - we have two buds today. So many hurricanes in such a short time, our hearts go out to all those affected by the giant storms.

  5. Like you, I am keeping a close eye on the weather conditions. My son and grandson were on the road all day yesterday trying to get to our house from the Orlando area. They only made it to South Carolina and will be back at it today. I will feel more at ease once they have arrived.
    With all the beauty going on in your garden and the glorious weather we have had here, it's hard to imagine the awful weather conditions happening to the south of us. Keeping you and all others in the path of Irma in my thoughts, Mary. I pray for the best possible outcome.

  6. Hi Mary, the weather can be frightening...I hope you are all safe. We don't have hurricanes here, once in a while a bad thunderstorm, or ice storm...we're pretty fortunate. Your bird photos are lovely!

    1. Rain, thanks for your good wishes. Maybe I should come to Canada - I don't mind the cold and have all my Antarctic clothing still so will fit right in up there in your beautiful mountains in wintertime!

    2. Just be sure to bring your shovel lol...we could use the muscle during the winters! :) We're saving for a snowblower, but they are so expensive! A good wood stove, lots of dry wood, some hot drinks and pets...the winters aren't too bad here. :)

  7. Terrible to have to worry about your property. Hope it won't prune any plants. Will think of you. We were without power from a bad ice storm for eight days and I thought that was bad.

  8. Loved your photos. Here's hoping Irma and Jose stay far away from your home! I actually have a trip to visit my Mom (after not seeing her for six years!) scheduled for next week, and am worried now that I will have to postpone. She lives in Suffolk, Va.

  9. Loving seeing your beautiful bird feeder with the little birdies enjoying the bounty. And, I know the "Peace" rose will return and give you her beautiful blossoms. Our weather across the country is seriously horrific, the fires, the hurricanes. Never have I seen such devastation in such a short period of time. We, here in Houston, are recovering but the ones whose homes were flooded 2=4 ft of water will have a much harder time. Piles of rubbish on the curbs, living in hotels or house-guesting. It's heartbreaking for all of us. Hopefully, you will be spared from Irma. The entire country needs to say a prayer. sending love.....

  10. I am having constant panic attacks but my daughter is very matter of fact and sure of herself about these storms.
    I will huddle in bed with the cats .. there is nothing more I can do.
    I have a forest behind me and I am not in a free standing house so that apparently is a good thing .. I will have to see it to believe it but I am still not going to stay here.
    Be safe my dear .. I might be right behind you in that North Move :)

  11. Take care dear friend. Oh how I love cardinals and wish often they would visit the west coast, but alas they don't come this far.

  12. The waiting and preparing and wondering about Irma and Jose must be dreadful. I am keeping a watch on the news and am praying that lives will be spared and the storm pass out to sea. Be safe, dear Mary.
    Our part of Canada is not very cold...just saying!

  13. Gorgeous photos - hope all is ok after the storm comes through. Take care.

  14. So glad you were spared this time. Wow, no idea that Fran was so awful interms of lives lost. horrible.

    Travel less? You? Nah, you;ll be packing your bags into your 100's if you can! :) but, yes, do hire some gardeners, Mary. They could do with the work too, no doubt.


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