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Thread: My First Potential Frost

  1. #1
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    My First Potential Frost

    We have been fortunate so far. A day or so ago, I checked, and it didn't look like frost for another week. Unfortunately, I checked tonight, and our temperatures will fall to 37 degrees.

    Now, I know that is not frost, but remember I live in this little valley where the pocket of cold air is trapped. I don't really know if it will happen as badly this year. Many of the privets in the field behind me were practically topped by Ivan. That may help the north wind movement blow some of the trapped cold out. I simply don't know.

    It's a matter of wait and see!

    I don't have my leanto replaced, so some plants will come into the patio. Some will go into the little greenhouse. Neither should have to be heated.

    At least there are no freeze warnings. 37 isn't that bad. I can put blankets and frost cover over the rest.

    It is time for winter weather, and I know that. It's just that this teaching job keeps me so very busy. I would just like to have some time to relax and play...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
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    Cold, Snow and Feral Kittens

    I have to agree, 37 is C O L D !

    It has been raining and blowing and getting colder here all day. When I was finally able to leave work around 8 tonight the rain had changed to snow, or perhaps more aptly a frozen mist. The wind was still blowing and made for a very uncomfortable walk to the car.

    I dutifully fed the feral kittens around 4 when I took my lunch break. Two showed up to eat and after losing my big umbrella to the wind (which quickly tossed it into the retention pond where it even more quickly sank!) I fetched a smaller one from the car and fashioned an awning over the feed dish so they poor things could at least eat with out getting soaked. It was too dark to even think about seeing if it did any real good or not by the time I got out of there, but I'll be going tomorrow afternoon again with food for them.

    When they were smaller, it was nothing for all of them to pile into the cinder blocks and snuggle up to stay warm, now that they are bigger, much bigger, they all can't get into the same space. I just hope they have found a dryer hiding place - they can get under the storage trailers, but I am not sure just how much protection it gives them. There's also the stacks of straw bales. Neither place really gives them a place to be off of the ground though. I do worry about the little darlings.

    Very few feral kittens make it to one year of age, hopefully because I supply them with one good meal a day, these will have a better chance. Even with my assistance, it will be a hard first winter for them.

    I suppose I really should try to trap them and bring them home and find good country barn homes for them. I doubt they would ever tame down enough to make good house cats.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions!

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
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    You're such a good writer. I felt like I was right there when I read it--the freezing rain, the umbrella pulled from my grip(and my favorite golf umbrella at that), watching the umbrella land in the retention(is that like a lagoon?-ew!) pond and sink ! And trying to feed those kitties--trying to 'take attendance' and figure out how to shelter them. Those are big decisions. I didn't know they often don't make it to a year old. But it is hard to catch them--just like the expression-trying to herd kittens. And then you have to find them homes(or maybe that comes before catching them). You and them have crossed paths for a reason at least at this this point in time.
    You've done good.
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 11-24-2004 at 08:36 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
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    What is a little bit sad about these little guys is that I am getting very attached to them! Once in a while someone will take food to them and it really screws them up. They get really skittish and are slow to come when I bring their food and then don't eat like they normally do. I can always tell when people have been bothering them!

    Two of them - the oldest males (?) often meow at me when I arrive with their daily rations. And if they happen to be especially hungry they really yell and scamper about as if telling me to hurry up! They still do not trust me enough to jump up to where I mix the food, but they don't normally waste any time once I get the pan placed on the ground.

    The two older ones were the only ones brave enough to come out in the rain this evening, but I'm sure the others were able to get something to eat once I left. A lot of activity makes them really nervous and there was a lot of activity tonight what with fighting the wind, losing the one umbrella and then trying to secure the other one to keep their food and them from the rain while they ate. I imagine they will all be ready to eat when I take them their food tomorrow. I may try to grab one and bring it home. Weather wise, we're looking at cold temps and possible snow showers tomorrow. I just hope the wind dies down!

    I really wish there was a way I could fashion a better shelter for them that wouldn't get management all up in arms. There really isn't a lot of room to put something free-standing without having to move timbers and cinder blocks and I know they would not appreciate my doing that. I'll come up with something or I'll find a way to catch all of them and bring them home. We all know the weather isn't going to be getting better any time soon.

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  5. #5
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    Rebecca,
    I sure admire what you are doing for the poor kitties. Once upon a time quite few years ago. Someone dumped a Momma and 6 babies at my house. I live next to our township hall and on a corner, so it seems like a good dumping place, which is sad.
    well Momma kitty and her babies grew and thrived with our loving family. But then a baby had babies and before we knew it we had 27 cats and kittens. The children didn't want to part with any of them, and being poor just couldn't afford to have them fixed. Fortunately we live in the country with lots of farms around, and we were able to find homes and farm homes for them. They ALL had to go except old Tom (which we did have fixed), one of the originals, he passed away last year. At the time there was no animal rescue group to help out. But now there is a no-kill cat shelter not to far from our town. They hold adoption days frequently and it just breaks my heart to see. Sure wish more vets would give of their time to help, but very few do. Even when they do the cost is $40. So no kitty's for us. Even though that don't seem like much. When you have 5 children to clothe, house, and feed it is.
    So my hat off to you Rebecca and good luck with the 'kitties'.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2001
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    Ann,
    Well we had our first snow yesterday and we ended up with about 3". We were supposed to get more today, but it is sunny and 32, supposed to get up in the 40's in the coming week. I sure could do without the snow for another month or so.
    The older I get the more I realize how 'older' people need to move to a warmer place in the winter. I practically hibernate and countdown till spring. Fortunately our winters last only about 3 or 4 months here. Which since I became a gardener is about 2 or 3 months too long. LOL!
    Did get most of my outdoor chores done. Major one being raking all the leaves out of the ditch in the front. Which will need sprayed for poison ivy come spring. Only have about 30 potted plants to worry about overwintering. Hoping they will be fine with lots of leaves piled on top.

    How is the house coming along?
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  7. #7
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    The heater flu (spell) is fixed, so we can use the heater now. It had to be done because it was leaking there when it rained.

    My brother has repaired the eaves and top of the roof, but we still have it covered with plastic and tarps because the shingles are not available. He hopes to do some painting next week.

    The corner of the patio still has to be jacked up and the post repaired. The screen frame is bent, and I suppose I will just stuff the opening with some old fabric until the corner is jacked up so that the frame can be replaced and/or repaired.

    The roof leaks in a few places when there is a heavy rain. We have put buckets in the attic to catch the dripping water until we can find the source.

    I took a quick ride down the west end of Dauphin Island. I couldn't go the entire way because of big trucks moving sand filled with debris from broken up homes.

    There is still sand piled on the sides of the road. The piles are taller than a large 18 wheeler.

    After seeing the damage to the homes that were not condemned, I won't complain about my damage. It is so sad...

    I came home early to move and cover plants. We do have a frost warning.

    I'd better get busy. Only a few more hours of daylight here.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
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    Well...

    Time ran out, and I did the best that I could. For those that remain outside, well, they will have to fend for themselves. I am tired.

    The outdoor kitty is not too happy with the garage door being totally shut, and she is inside... She (I think) does like to have her freedom, and she let me know that when I hugged her and let her down, she ran for the garage door and looked back to let me know that she did not have the freedom to get out.

    Sorry, but I removed the bicycles and the riding lawn mower to make room for the recovering coleus and hibiscus along with a few annuals that are hard to find.

    It's getting cold, really cold for me. It is now 42 degrees and falling fast.

    Sad thing is that after all that work, it will not get this cold again for a couple more weeks.

    Oh, well! The things we do for plants, huh?

    I won't complain too much, though. It's nice to get some cool weather and a few days off!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
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    Spared!!!

    There was a little frost on top of the car, but none on the hood.

    I don't see any frost damage to plants or blooms. I still have lots and lots of red passion flowers blooming and the Thunbergia grandiflora vines are still showing off.

    Hopefully, that means that I will be able to enjoy blooms for another week or so.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  10. #10
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    My Patio is FIXED!

    And my brother is a genius. He managed to jack the 4 X 4 cedar post, saw off the damaged portion, replace it with a 4 X 4 brick that he cut, and the miracle is that he bent the square tubing frame back to it's original shape (in four bent places).

    Before...
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  11. #11
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    He did this all without having to remove the screen or the plastic. He did have to remove the screen tight that the plastic attaches to, but he didn't have to remove the spline, so it went back into place perfectly.
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  12. #12
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    Cleaning, sanding, painting and replacing the screen and plastic can come later. Like Sandi said, there are far too many other things to do.

    He also removed the outer pain of glass that was broken on the window, so it is ready for a new one. I need to clean it really well first.

    It's great having a smart handyman for a brother and a really hard working one at that!

    Whatever would I do without my Brother?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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