Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Story Begins

And so the story begins. Or maybe I should say Chapter. Right, the Chapter begins. It's not a new story. As a matter of fact it's the same old story. That story would be "Winter". Or Tales of Winter. Or maybe just Snow. Yeah, lots of snow. Probably.

I mean winter doesn't officially start until December 21st. Here it is the middle of November and most of the country has had very cold temperatures. We had our first measurable snowfall of the season. We got about 5 inches last week, but so far the storm that is now in the area has left its mark on northern and western New York. The Fort Drum Military Base in Watertown, NY, is closed today and so is the New York State Thruway from Rochester to the Pennsylvania state line. You know it has to be bad when the Army base closes.

But yet the calendar says it's still fall. . .

Our Indian summer is coming up early next week. Maybe. An Indian summer is when you have unseasonably warm, dry temperatures after experiencing a heavy killing frost (I don't know many people that complained about unseasonably warm temperatures in November). This usually (or sometimes) occurs between September and mid-November. Right now it's 22 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather is predicted to be maybe 60 on Monday (Nov 24). We can only hope.

Local Amish harvesting hay before the snows arrive.

Amish harvested cornstalks. When I first saw these I thought they were hay stacks.

And anything still blooming????

We still had some flowers blooming in the gardens this past week. There were a few knock-out roses that were blooming that are planted in a protected area as well as The Fairy Rose, and the dianthus were reblooming as well.

Double Knock Out Roses (right) photo taken July 2014 

Knock Out Roses. If you love roses and have not tried the knock-out roses, they might be something you might consider planting in your garden. They are so reliable, disease (mildew and blackspot) resistant, cold hardy, and bloom all season long from spring until a heavy frost. Last year because our winter was so cold and long they died back quite a bit, but after a spring pruning they were flowing a few weeks after that. They are cold hardy to zone 5 and heat tolerant throughout the US.

Knock Out Roses (photo taken July 2014)

They are available in a wide variety of colors. They grow about 3 feet wide and about 3 to 4 feet tall. The prefer full sun, and a well drained and fertile site. They should be planted about 4 feet apart for good air circulation. They are also self-cleaning, meaning you do not have to trim back the dead flowers. These roses do not have to be trimmed in any special manner either. You can trim them with the hedge trimmers. Every two or three years you might want to remove about 1/3 of the branches to stimulate new growth. Or you might want to take out some branches from the center to improve air circulation. These roses will not disappoint you. However, if you are looking for a scented rose bush you will not find it in the knock out roses.

The Fairy Rose 

The Fairy Rose Bush. The Fairy Rose bush is a miniature Polyantha shrub rose. It is about the same size as the knock out rose, but hardier. This rose bush is not scented either. I believe the knock out roses are larger flowers, but the Fairy Rose bush has larger clusters.This rose is disease resistant as well. Personally, I think the knock out roses have nicer foliage.

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First snowfall. November 13, 2014

"In seed time learn, in harvest time teach, 
in winter enjoy."

Thanks for stopping by, 
and feel free to leave a comment! 
I would love to hear from you!


  1. Another job well done, Sue. I looks as if you have a green thumb.

    1. Thank you very much. The knock out roses are so easy to grow and very dependable bloomers. They really give you a great show from spring through fall.

  2. Hi Susan, thanks for including me on your mailing list. I am always in awe of your photographs, but the William Blake quote feels especially poignant at this time in my life. Bobbie Hayek, Seminole, FL

    1. Thank you, Bobbi. I'm glad the quote was meaningful for you.
      I still have a lot to learn about photography (and my camera). I'm just glad that I can share my photos with others and that they enjoy them. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Your photos are especially beautiful in today's post. That robin should be a greeting card. It has such a warm, happy feeling. I agree the base closing is unusual. I doubt our airbase closed since NF did not get the worst of it. The NYS thruway was closed all the way from Leroy to the PA border. Leroy is just a bit past Buffalo. I almost would have been stuck on it if I went to PA for a family party. Lucky I chose to miss it.

    1. Thank you, Donna. I was shocked with the amount of snow that Buffalo got- 76". A record amount for a 24 hour period. We were lucky in that it missed us, too. It was north of us, but they didn't get it as bad as Buffalo. Once Lake Erie freezes over they shouldn't get that amount of Lake Effect snow in that area. We usually get the Lake Effect snow off of Lake Ontario all winter long because that lake never freezes over because it is so deep.
      You were lucky that you weren't travelling in that area at that time. Such a scary and sad situation for so many people. I hope it ends soon for everyone around there.

  4. So I had more snow than you? Over 8 inches that first lake effect last week and my roses were done...been cold this November. I am grateful to have missed all the snow so far, but oh the weather is going to affect western NY for a long time to come this year. I remember the blizzard of 77 as I was in college at Brockport and my sister was in Buffalo...that was just as bad although it was later so the snow was not so wet and heavy. Blew the windows in on our high rise dorm on one side.

    Stay warm and have a great Thanksgiving if I don't talk to you before then!

    1. We have had a cold November, and yet so many flowers continued to bloom.
      Yes, I feel so bad for western, NY. I have a niece that lives near Hamburg, and after 5 days their street is still not plowed out. And now with the warm anticipated warm temperatures everyone is worried about the weight of the wet snow will cause considerable damage to so many roofs in the area. Praying they will find some relief soon.
      We were here in Mexico, NY, when the Blizzard of 77 hit and Oswego County got quite a bit of snow, too. It was a few days before our road got cleared out, and when it did it was only 1 lane.
      You have a nice Thanksgiving as well!