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Snow Day

The whole town of Meridian is shut down due to an ice storm.

Word on the street was that everyone mobbed the grocery stores over the weekend and stocked up on bread and canned chili.

I bundled up and harvested a couple of days worth of greens from the veggie garden before covering it for protection.  The walk down the hill was much more pleasant than a trip to Wal Mart!

Woody, Dotsey, Junebug, B and Doreen were eager to get inside by the heater.

This morning instead of the promised snow, the world is covered in ice.

During icy weather, the black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) that surrounds our deck bends under the weight.  Since bamboo has hollow stems, the plants can bend almost to the ground and often regain their upright stance.  It all depends on how long they stay down.

The black bamboo is weighted down by ice.

If they do not revert to a vertical position, the grove will be impassable until we do a good bit of clearing.

After an ice storm, we often have an exciting bonfire.  The hollow bamboo stems explode and, depending on stem girth, sound like fireworks or gunfire.

I’ve heard that the first fireworks were made from bamboo loaded with gunpowder.

I’ve also read that the word “bamboo” means “loud noise” and that primitive people would carry bamboo stems when travelling into unknown territory.  If something scary came along, they could throw a bamboo stem into the fire to frighten the intruder away.

At any rate, when I burn bamboo it makes for a lively fire.  The last time I did it the neighbors called the Fire Department.   I apologized to the Firemen and vowed only to burn bamboo on New Year’s Eve when the loud pops would blend in with the fireworks.

A tufted titmouse flies from a bent bamboo cane to snack at the feeder.

But… my timing is off, New Year’s Eve won’t roll around for a while.

I’ll worry about that later.

For today, the bent bamboo canes are serving as a dandy staging area for the birds who are visiting the feeder on my deck.


 

Marc’s Hedz

Marc Pastorek's Optician

Since our recent deck renovation, I’ve been bonding with a favorite ceramic head located on a corner post.

Our friend Marc Pastorek made the piece.   It was designed to sit on a 4×4 post and is inscribed with the words “The Optician” in honor of my husband Richard who is an Optician.

The Optician is surrounded by black bamboo.   During warmer weather, the lizards love to bask in the sun atop his head.

Deck Life

Baby Cakes

Cakester likes to hang in the black bamboo.

We are all delighted with the deck repair that our friend Stan “the genius man” Watts finished last week.   Stan put in some new deck posts and replaced the 25 year old decking.  It is pristine and very inviting.

The deck is an extension of our house.  Richard’s recliner is 3′ away from the sliding glass door that gives us access.  Our goal is to instigate the habit of deck sitting again.  We will use Baby Cakes who reigns the deck as our guide.

Cakester can be found on the deck most of the time.  She enjoys lounging on the railing where feist dogs cannot reach her.  She particularly likes the black bamboo portion of the deck.

The plan is that we will each take a chair, settle in and watch the back garden and woods wake up this spring.

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