February in Chester – selected views

February in Chester – selected views

With only nine days left until the end of February, often considered our coldest month, we’re posting a few images that reflect the changing climate in our area.  This winter has been remarkable for its snow deficit.  The few storms that brought us any amount of snow were followed in short order by milder temperatures and rain that washed away any traces of the white stuff.   

Ornamental crabapple after snowfall
The same tree a few days later
Branches are bare after a brief visit from a flock of Cedar waxwings in early February
And very little fruit left for the robins who showed up the following week
A lonely vigil

The ice on this salt-water cove stretched far out toward the sea for a week or so and several ice fisherman came to try their luck at catching the tiny fish called a smelt. Setting up camp stools around one or more holes they had bored in the ice, they sat patiently for a few hours hoping to pull up enough fish for a good feed at home.

When the tide's not right, the smelt aren't there

Farther out, the ice along the shore cove has begun to break up into large flat blocks. Open water is what the ducks are looking for.

 
Ice pans pile up along the shore
Black ducks hunting for food

Back up on higher ground, the landscape features evergreens, dried grasses and only the promise of colour to come in the fat buds of rhododendrons. The outlook is bleak but the experienced gardener knows that the time has come for forcing blooms indoors.
 

The promise of spring to come

 Branches of forsythia need only about ten days of tranquil resting in warm water in order to start opening their blooms when brought inside. As the month progresses, the time lapse between bringing the cuttings indoors and the actual blooming becomes even shorter. Myra has supplemented the forsythia branches in her containers with greenery from other plants to produce a fuller composition.

First hint of spring

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