The last bits of snow from last winter
The garden is finally snow-free. The snowbirds (snow buntings, but everyone here calls them snowbirds) & other small birds have been snacking on the seeds in the pods as they emerged through the snow. We feed the birds commercial seed, but it seems like they should be able to eat their normal diet. They seem to have finished what there was to eat, so it was time for clean-up. I spent a while this afternoon trimming dead stalks from Artemisias, Potentillas and Ranunculi, and things look much better. I put one of the pinwheels out again, too.
I also picked up the new plant markers project where I left it last fall. I’d written on markers with a Sharpie, and was then using a label maker to make tapes to put on that would be easier to read. The new markers are aluminum, and the ones that were out over the winter already had signs of corrosion from the salt air here. I had to use steel wool to smooth them before putting the labels on. We will have to see how long they last.
I had gotten a set of three metal pinwheels, in hopes of putting one next to the ground for the house’s wiring, which for some reason the electrician planted in the garden. Possibly he thought the plants meant that there was actual ground there, as opposed to the gravel pad on which all of NARL sits, but really the whole garden is on top of the pad, so if that was crucial, the place still isn’t grounded.
Anyway, we’ve been having a big fall storm this weekend, with strong winds, and they pretty much destroyed the pinwheel. There was minor coastal flooding, but that didn’t affect the garden.
Remains of the fallen pinwheel.
The wheel part was held on by a round nut, which presumably came unscrewed and fell into the snow. I looked, but was unable to find it. It will show up when the snow melts, although that may not be until June.
The rod that hold the pinwheel is actually two pieces that screw together, and they were almost unscrewed, so it appears that it must have come unscrewed due to changes in wind direction rotating the wheel, but why the wheel came unscrewed isn’t clear…
I’ll have to put one of the others out, since they do hide the grounding rod, or at least distract from it.