Friday, February 25, 2011

From Hot to Sooo Very Cold

It has been unseasonably cold here, with windchills in the -40 degree range and colder. I imagine this cold would be intolerable while standing on a dog sled, as several intrepid racers have been doing here the last few days. A few racers dropped out of the race, presumably due to the very cold winds. Last night, we went to La Ronge's Patterson park, where the dogs get fed during the mandatory rest period and get checked over by vets. The littlest gardener got some pretty cold hands pretty quick though, and we had to head on home before seeing them run.

Otherwise, we had the chance to visit the relatively hot weather of Arizona this past month. It's great to fellowship with the cactuses and the other winter-escaping Canadians. We laugh at the lack of sandals, sunhats and open outdoor pools there in February. The locals' excuse is "it's winter". It didn't feel like a winter to us! I did get to play with plants by pruning shrubs and planting a flat of ice plants for my mother. There actually was some frost-kill of some of the plants, and damage to some of the citrus trees in southern Arizona this winter. Weird weather happens everywhere!
Ice plants I planted under palm tree:

"Red Spike Ice Plant" (lame store tag didn't have Latin name):

I can't wait to see what things look like next year. These plants have an irrigation system to keep them alive over the roasting summer months.
A "less-prickly" cactus:

Night-time photography of a very large organ pipe cactus: