Another Red-Sky Sunday

Sunrise at Hayefield Feb 10 08

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

We seem to be in a pattern of changeable Sundays here in southeastern PA, with stunning sunrises followed by decidedly unpretty conditions. Here’s the same sky just 15 minutes later, looking rather ominous:

Sunrise at Hayefield Feb 10 08

Well, at least we had a bit more freezing fog, which is bad on the roads but nice on some of the plants that still look good, such as Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’.

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'

There were also some striking frost patterns on the car windows this morning.

Window frost

In the process of wandering around taking photos for a future post on another topic, I noticed that the ‘Breda Giant’ medlar (Mespilus germanica) fruits are still hanging on. They’re hardly show-stopping, but they’re kind of cool, in an eccentric sort of way.

Mespilus germanica (medlar) fruit

And, I discovered that my witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis ‘Purpurea’; now ‘Washington Park’) is in full bloom. I walk past it a dozen times a day and see it right outside my office window and didn’t even notice. When I saw it in a mail-order catalog as ‘Purpurea’, I automatically assumed that the leaves were purple and immediately ordered it. I wish I would have read the description.

Hamamelis vernalis 'Washington Park' ('Purpurea')

I wouldn’t even call the flower color purple; it’s more of a pinkish red. And it doesn’t seem to have much scent either, unfortunately. Well, the boys are busy eating their breakfast, and I guess I’d better get busy too. The wind is picking up, so I think a day of indoor seed-sowing is in order. I hope the rest of you have something spring-like in mind to do today, either inside or out.

Alpacas at breakfast

6 responses to this post.

  1. Cool photo of the sedum and the blue pot, love ‘the boys having breakfast’.

    Frances at Faire Garden

    Thanks, Frances. The boys love the boys having breakfast too! And dinner. And Lama Treats. Especially Lama Treats.
    -Nan

  2. Gads, this weather! I must say, if you hadn’t said it was a Hamamelis, I’d have thought you were showing a photo of *very* dispirited Echinacea purpurea! But I’ll admit, I like it! Which is more than I can say for 50 mph winds. I’ve already lost power once today and am waiting to see what the afternoon brings…

    I’m glad you appreciate it, anyway, Elly. I hope all stays well at Hawk’s Haven. At the moment, the sky outside my window is clear blue, and yet it is snowing like all get out. What a wild day here in PA!
    -Nan

  3. Nancy . the pictures are beautiful, as the boys are !
    I love red skies even though they may be a bit of a handfull .. love your site too !
    I was once “rushed” by lamas (got between them and the food thing) so I’m cautious about big animals .. well .. anything bigger than my cat Sophie ? LOL
    Joy : )

    Thanks, Joy! It’s great to see you here. I’ve been around only a few llamas, and I know some can be very gentle, but I definitely wouldn’t want to get in their way. Fortunately, my alpacas are much smaller. And while the boys take their meals very seriously (what little they get, other than hay), they’re as careful to respect my space as I am to respect theirs. Now, Sophie, I imagine, can go anywhere she pleases, whenever she pleases. But I suspect getting pounced on by her wouldn’t be particularly traumatic; rather the opposite, really!
    -Nan

  4. Posted by Anonymous on February 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for the glimpse of your PA morning. That sky is gorgeous! We had very similar weather, with the strong, gusty winds. Nasty stuff! Today is just as cold but the winds aren’t as strong.
    It’s a great day for reading blogs. Glad I found yours :)
    Love the sedum with the lovely blue ‘bell’ or whatever it is, and I must admit I like the ‘purple’ witch Hazel!
    Your ‘boys’ are sweet :)
    I was chuckling while reading about you ordering 66 pkts of seeds. It’s an obsession, yes, but a much healthier one than some :)

    Isn’t that sedum awesome? It does make a striking contrast to the blue cloche. And quite right about the seed addiction. There aren’t too many other addictions that make the world a prettier place for everyone!
    -Nan

  5. I forgot to comment on this–or Blogger was in one of its no-comments-allowed snits–that photo of the Sedum ‘Angelina’ with the blue cloche-like accent sends me into raptures. It’s just so colourdrenched, and I LIKE it when it gets that curious orange-rust colour. Part of mine is in a big cement planter in the greenhouse for the winter, the rest is buried under about eight feet of snow….

    Oh, you lucky girl, to have a greenhouse! I do love that blue cloche; it’s too small to serve any real cloche-like purpose, but it makes a great color accent.
    -Nan

  6. Hi Nan, Just checking back to see your comment answer and realize I came up as ‘anonymous’. What sedum is that? Kathy’s (our youngest) boyfriend is a green roof gardener and works with sedums. They gave me a wonderful dish garden for my birthday last year with several kinds in it. What a gorgeous little garden it is! It sparked my interest in learning more about sedum :)
    I may just plant some seeds for winter sowing today!

    The sedum is Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’. There are so many terrific little sedums, but ‘Angelina’ is my favorite.

    Good luck with your seed sowing. Sounds like a great post topic for your blog!
    -Nan

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