Monday, March 4, 2013

Behave!

It's been unseasonably warm the past week or so - it reached 73° last Friday - with nary a raindrop in sight.  In fact, Napa has just experienced the driest January and February on record.  I love it!
Apparently the vines do too.  The Orange Muscat vines are, like me, enthused about our beautiful winter and have decided it's time to get their skates on for 2013.  Though not advanced enough to be considered full-on budbreak, this particular bud is definitely displaying a clear-cut case of bud-swell.  At first I thought that the vines were being a little premature due to the warm conditions, but after checking last year's dates I see that the vines are right on track.  Still, I just wish my little buddies would behave themselves and calm down.  At least just long enough so that I can catch up with their headlong sprint into this growing season.

21 comments:

Thomas said...

Yeah. We see anything like that in March in the Finger Lakes, we worry big time.

Last March, we experienced weather in the upper 70s and into the 80s for quite some time--enough time to push buds and tree blossoms. The frost and snow that came in April did a great job at preventing most tree fruits from producing and many vines from going into semi-shock.

On my property not one of my apple, peach, plum, pear, and cherry trees gave forth fruit.

Contrary to poets, March is the cruelest month.

Thud said...

spring is sprung!

NHwineman said...

Thomas, you must have quite a place to have all those fruit trees; good for you, and I hope this year will bear much fruit for you.
Do you keep track of the different birds that visit you property?

Vinogirl, I'm guessing you're going to have your hands full, but pictures of the butterflies and flowers will be greatly anticipated!

Thomas said...

NH:

In addition, I grow figs. Have to take the trees indoors for the winter. For that, I keep them, in old wine barrels cut in half and rest them on a wheeling cart. To me, figs are erotic.

On the birds, yes. My wife joined in the recent bird count that took place.

We see a few shockers each year, along with the regulars. Among my favorite regulars are the bobolinks that come all the way from Argentina just to mate, hang around for the summer and go home after only two or two and one half months. They hang out in a large meadow out back that used to be part of a large vineyard, that used to be mine.

NHwineman said...

Thomas, very nice bird (Bobolinks); they have become more uncommon in NH as the population has nearly doubled since I frolicked in the fields as a kid.
As for figs, I love them!
Again good for you, but as H.D. Thoreau would say, I'll just have to gaze (imagination) with appreciation from afar!
Sincerely,
Dennis

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: This winter, so far has been a carbon copy of last. We got all of our winter rain in March last year, but, besides a sprinkle here and there yesterday, the long-range forecast for this March is looking pretty dry. Isn't March supposed to come "in like a lion, and out like a lamb"?

Thud: It certainly has seemed very pleasant, and spring-like, to me.

NHW: I may have a few ideas for some flora and fauna posts :)

NHwineman said...

Thomas, clarification is needed: "Thomas, very nice bird (Bobolinks); they have become more uncommon in NH as the (HUMAN) population has nearly doubled since I frolicked in the fields as a kid."

Thomas said...

NH:

Thanks, I wondered...

VG,

In like a lion, etc., is from another era. The world has changed, as wine bloggers keep repeating.

Here, the lion IS in winter.

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Early morning here. The birds I can see from where I sit with my laptop are; house finches, juncos, mourning doves (about 2 dozen), nut hatches, chickadees, a couple of different species of sparrows (which I have been working on positively ID-ing), titmice, a solitary scrub jay and a lonesome acorn woodpecker. I can hear a pair of red shouldered hawks screeching whilst busily hunting, but it's too early in the a.m. for turkey vultures (they like to sit in the sun and warm up first thing). A mating pair of (European) starlings recently showed up and seem very interested in a hole in the trunk of a huge black oak tree that is right next to the window on the south side of the kitchen.
If I bothered to go to the window, on the other side of the kitchen, I would see hummingbirds at the feeder, bluebirds preparing a birdhouse (on the edge of the Orange Muscat block) for habitation and the seemingly ever-pooping phoebes that perch on shovel handles etc. and just poop! The list of other birds that regularly visit throughout the day is probably of the same length. Then there are infrequent visitors like veerys and brown-headed cowbirds.
There is one particular junco that I want to get a photograph of...

Tomasso: March will be gamboling like a spring lamb this weekend, it's forecast to be in the low 70s again.

Thomas said...

VG,

That's the same list of birds we see here. Can they fly across country that fast ;)

NHwineman said...

Thomas, as I have some learning disability, tests show probable Dyslexia, I work very hard to write things that makes sense, and a very short post can take me well over an hour to organize my thoughts, but writing them down almost always leaves holes in those thoughts, and even after reviewing what I've written several times, I still miss obvious mistakes.
So, just the fact that you read my comments is a kindness to me.


Vinogirl, sometime ago I mentioned that you reminded me of Annie Dillard, and again you prove that your observational skills (a requirement for good nature writing)are very sharp.

Oh, today, we had a robin at the bird feeder, which is a first for me and my boss. The birds are desperate, with another 11 inches of wet snow and most of the winter berries gone, anything will do.

Thomas said...

We are supposed to have spring-like weather this weekend in the Finger Lakes. I have my pruners ready to go at the raspberry bushes, er, twigs. And it looks like the bluebirds are making tentative gestures toward the houses.One of them asked me about the neighbors: "any house-thieving barn swallows around?"

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Thanks again for your kind words.
Coming from a small island, the vastness of America never ceases to amaze me. Here I am, once again, typing in the brilliant morning sun, watching my feathered friends go about their usual morning business of eating, bathing, interspecial-squabbling and nest-building. No foraging in the snow for Vinoland's avian population - there are grasses, and other weeds, going to seed already.

Tomasso: Perhaps they are the same birds...they breakfast with you and then 3 hours later, voila, they are here for seeds, nuts and cracked corn. Do you have one particular junco that sits and tweets directly at you protesting the tardiness at which his food appears? If so, then we are indeed visited by the same birds :)

Thomas said...

Hah! I have more than one junco--among other birds--that wait impatiently for some seed. If we are five minutes late we are told a thing or two.

Had a great day today in the mid 50s F. I got half the raspberries pruned, the peach tree, a cherry tree, and a large fig tree that I keep in the ground, not for figs--never get any form that tree--for cuttings. It was sunny all day,too. So sunny that we had to open the door to the greenhouse so as not to heat up the winter greens.

But there's mud out there...

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: If it wasn't for our age difference, and the fact that we have different parents, I'd swear we were twins separated at birth. And I'd bet the junco population of North America is privy to this little fact.
Congrats on getting so much pruning done...when you're finished, pop over to Vinoland :)
Fig tree for cuttings?

Thomas said...

So I can start more fig trees. Why not?

Re, the age and parents differences: have you seen documents to that effect?

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Our fig tree was killed by frost a few years back, but I do have three of it's babies in pots.
As for documentation? No, I haven't seen anything to the contrary. So the plot thickens...

Thomas said...

VG.

Killed by a frost!

I have a fig tree in the ground for a number of years. It dies back but hasn't died--produces new shoots from the roots every year, and in a region that gets truly frigid in winter, especially at night. I prune it to the ground in spring.

Often its trunk feeds deer in winter, so I want to prune it below the deer scrapes.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Yes. 2008. Got down to 24/25 F I believe. Vinomaker had planted it down by the creek, the coldest place on the property...and after April 21st, it was no more!

Thomas said...

VG,

We regularly go down to single digit F. throughout winter. Must be an eastern fig tree clone that I have. I'll have to look into it.

NHwineman said...

Vinogirl, when you look at this picture you can seek your "teeth" into the future;-)