Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines, and Stay Warm!

It is February 14 and half my basement light garden is full with seedlings already. I am holding onto these Jiffy pellet trays for annuals I will start in a few months. Do you like the Jiffy pellet heart? Nice huh?

Osteospermum, strawberries, and impatiens:

We had heart-shaped buttermilk pancakes for breakfast. They were good for warming the heart, especially since it was -42 degrees Celsius outside! Honestly, that made me gasp this morning, since the Canadian Challenge dogsled race started yesterday in Prince Albert, a city south of us. The 8 and 12 dog teams are currently racing towards La Ronge. It is a 500+ km (320 mile) race and is a qualifier for the bigger races like the Yukon Quest and Iditarod.

I find dog sledding fascinating, and I also admire these people and their cold endurance. They have to sleep outside with their dogs during this race, for goodness sake! I read through the rules this morning and noticed that the mushers are NOT allowed to have radios, cell phones, satellite phones, or GPS. I think I heard that the Iditarod is allowing GPS this year, though. Oh yeah, and the dogs may have to submit for urine drug testing if performance-enhancing drugs are suspected. Hmmmm. I hope my dog doesn't get messed up in that steroid-abusing-dog crowd.

The yard at 10:30 this morning -- the sled teams will arrive not far from here.

While warm conditions (warmer than -10 C) are dangerous for racing dogs, the conditions were really cold 2 years ago and the mushers were putting little jackets on the dogs and underwear on the males, because their genitals were freezing. In fact, you couldn't find any underwear in town that weekend, because the stores were bought out.

My Paphiopedilum "Magic McNavy" orchid starting to bloom.


kate said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

I don't think I should have been complaining at -27c this morning - us southerners are getting too soft perhaps!

It will be a cold time for the mushers and their dogs. I hadn't heard about the underwear use on the male dogs - I had heard about the jackets.

Who'd have thunk performance-enhancing steroids had made their way into dogsledding? Wonders never cease...

Your jiffy pellet hear is creative and brought a big smile to me... when I saw your Magic McNavy orchid, well I sighed. What a beautiful orchid. Lucky you!

Enjoy the dogsleds as they come by!

Weeping Sore said...

Since I live in Southwestern U S I don't see much snow. Your pictures remind me of the snows of my childhood though, and for that I'm grateful.
Your heart/pots tells me you have way too much creative energy. I can't wait to check back and visit your garden once the snow melts.

kate said...

I just gave you a blog award - you can read about it on my blog.