Weather: It has been a cold, dry winter. We had a week of rain in October, and nothing to measure after that. It got down to 3 degrees in December and to 2 the end of January. The first time the temperature fell so low I wondered if the sensor for the digital thermometer was working. I put out a mercury thermometer to test, and the sensor battery was good. It was that cold.
The winds started a couple weeks ago, and any moisture that survived is being sucked away. In its place, the winds have been depositing Russian thistle and white pigweed carcases outside my gate.
What’s blooming: Cranesbill on the west side of the post office in town.
What’s reviving: Sweet peas have some green leaves, and there’s new growth at the tips of the blue flax. Some low ferny green plants are up outside the gate, but this early I don’t know if they’re western stickseed or tansy mustard.
Animal sightings: Chickadees stay here year round, and nest in the eaves of my neighbor’s metal building.
Weekly update: The thumb I injured in October 2016 has not recovered. I did very little work in the garden last year to let it rest, but it didn’t improve. It was a hot, dry summer and little grew, so the neglect probably had few consequences. I could still turn on the water.
What did suffer was my awareness of nature. Since I couldn’t work outside, I didn’t go out as often, and observed less. Then, because I had to learn a new way to write with my right hand, I took fewer notes. Since I wasn’t taking notes, I looked less. And, since I couldn’t use my thumb on the space bar, I didn’t post to this blog.
Nursery catalogs stopped reviving my garden interest years ago when companies were consolidated, and the only new seeds were for greenhouse growers. However, I force myself each year to look at them to order the reduced number of seeds I buy. That activity does act as a stimulus.
The reason I order seeds is the local stores stopped carrying them a few years ago. There’s one hardware in Española, one plant store in Santa Fé, and one plant store in Albuquerque that carry Lake Valley, and that’s all that’s reliably available.
I did my annual seed shopping Saturday morning. When I was checking out, the girl said her grandfather in Dixon always maintained a garden for his wife. He planted corn and both green and red chilies. She said he was the one who did the canning.