African Garden + travel

Welcome to Winter at Squirrelhaven!

Meteorological winter begins in Northern Illinois on December 1st. Too often there is nothing wintery about that date. The ground stubbornly refuses to freeze and plants become fooled into breaking dormancy early. Not this year. We've been experiencing temperatures below freezing every night for over a week. (Trust me, this is a good thing.) Then yesterday, Winter blew in with a snow-and-ice one-two punch. Unfortunately, I was at a Christmas lunch on the far north side of Chicago and had to drive home in the storm. It's just amazing how many people forget how to drive in snow. I witnessed a driver lose control on the expressway, slide sideways and get hit broadside by another vehicle. At least I got home before the precipitation turned to ice. I'd much rather live where we get reliable snow storms than on the East Coast and in the South where they have to deal with regular ice storms.

This morning the temperature rose to the upper 40s (it's supposed to drop rapidly this afternoon), so I got out in the garden to try to finish putting it to bed for the winter. That means chickenwire, and lots of it.

Although I already sprayed the young trees and shrubs with critter repellent last week, a second line of defense is always a good idea. It might not be the most attractive way to do it, but it's generally effective against the rabbits.

I also started to put up the Christmas decorations. It's definitely time to get rid of the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Harvest pumpkins.

This large squirrel (Beggar) was so intent on eviscerating my son's pumpkin that it didn't care that I was working out front. My husband was even able to open the front door to snap the photo. It can have all the pumpkin it needs to fatten up for winter; we don't need them anymore, and it was fun to watch it pigging out. (Of course I'm not thrilled about scraping frozen bits of pumpkin off the front porch.) Welcome to Winter at Squirrelhaven.

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Welcome to Winter at Squirrelhaven! + travel