Monday, February 20, 2012

Ben with moss garden

Ben the bad cat with moss garden
 Roundtop Mtn. didn’t get any of the snow that fell further south this weekend. In fact, the weather, while not warm, still felt rather balmy as the wind was calm and the sun often appeared.

During the late afternoons, temperatures were in the mid-40’s, and when I was out and about I still saw a lot of people sitting on their porches and enjoying the mild weather. I saw a few in t-shirts, but I think that might have been taking things a bit far. Up on the mountain I ran all my outside chores without a coat, though I don’t think I would have wanted to sit outside without at least a light jacket.

One thing I accomplished this past weekend was to create small moss garden that will sit on my kitchen table. Over the past week or so I started gathering a few things to include in it. And I finally found the small stone with moss on it that I was seeking. The rock is not as thoroughly covered with moss as I would like, but it’s close enough. I found a couple different kinds of moss and a stick with moss on it. I bought the large clump of moss you can see in the far corner, but the other mosses were found on the mountain. The first photo is not the best, but Ben the cat wanted his photo taken with the moss garden, so I was forced to oblige him.
At this point in the so-called winter season, I doubt winter will bother to arrive at all. That said, I haven’t yet found any actual signs of spring in the landscape or in the birds, but that can’t be far away. Cardinals, song sparrows and bluebirds are singing, but those all sing even in a snowy February, so they don’t count.
Nighttime temperatures fall into the mid or upper 20’s, but every day works its way above freezing before noontime. This freeze-thaw pattern, bad enough in a normal winter, is likely going to create some mythic potholes around the area, certainly enough to keep the local road crews busy for much of the spring.
With such a mild winter, I’m wondering and worrying about the upcoming bug season. Fleas, ticks, stink bugs, mosquitos and who knows what else are likely to be in greater numbers as there’s barely been a hard frost and virtually no snow cover or frozen ground. I can’t say I’m looking forward to any of that, though as long as winter isn’t going to bother arriving, I’m starting to wish we might as well get on with spring.


Woodswalker said...

What a nice idea, your moss garden! Let's hope your cat doesn't find it a great place to dig. Pretty kitty!

Carolyn H said...

Woodswalker: Thanks! I haven't made a moss garden for years,but this winter I got the urge again. I think I'm really tired of all the brown around me and was looking for a little color.

Cathy said...

Garden looks good, it does bring some much need color.

And Ben's look is priceless. he got "I'm better than that" look. Bet he's character.

Scott said...

Thanks for the image of Ben and the new moss garden. One of my cats, named Doppelganger, looks much like Ben.

Will the moss garden persist indoors for long, or is it meant to be a relatively short-lived feature? Just curious; I've had terraria (ages ago) but never a moss garden open to the room. I'm afraid such a garden would dry out quickly in my house.

Cynthia M. said...

I love your moss garden - what a great way to bring some greenery indoors while we wait for spring! We have a very mossy section of our property - I'll have to try this out with my boys.

And Ben is a beauty! Gotta love that regal cat stance....

Pablo said...

Like you, I haven't really seen winter, but I haven't seen spring yet either.

I've read that no one has proven a correlation between mild winters and heavy insect populations. It seems to make sense, but no one has ever done a study. I did learn that last summer's lack of horsefly menace was the result of a dry winter/spring we had.

Carolyn H said...

Cynthia: If you make a moss garden, try to pick up an inch (roughly) of dirt with the moss. I layer my pot with some orchid mix (tanbark would do) and then put potting soil atop that, leaving room for the soil that comes with the moss. Moss gardens need sprtizing with water once or twice a day and dribbled with water every couple of days. Good luck!

Carolyn H said...

Scott: Ben is a Maine Coon cat.

My moss garden will probably go outside in a month or so. They do better when they can take in the natural humidity of the forest. I keep them inside as long as they look really healthy.

Carolyn H said...


I'm surprised no one has studied the mild winter/insect correlation. And now I'm hearing that allergy season is likely to be worse and earlier, too, because of the mild winter.

Jesh StG said...

Love your moss garden, Carolyn! Since California is so dry, I don't know if it would hold up here, unless I would put it very close to a water feature - what do you think?
I am now mainly on my Artistique blog, but I'm the same Jeannette StG from mysteries - (I call myself Emille there) This url is