28 thoughts on “WINTER BERRIES

    1. I read up about them. The hydrochloric acid in our stomachs turns the berry juice into cyanide.They also taste terrible even when fully ripe…..plus you have to eat a bucket full to affect you! So who would eat a bucket of foul tasting berries? In other words I doubt anyone has died from them.
      thank you Noelle!

  1. I have one of those bushes in the backyard – I’ll have to see if the birds are enjoying their berries. The berries are bright in the drab colors of the bush – makes the crows look more striking.

      1. I will Wayne. I can’t get into the backyard til we thaw a little. Snow guy didn’t plow back behind the gate, so I can’t get into the backyard as the snow is high, glazed and slick from the freezing rain … might be a chance to try the crampons though. I’ll look after our tropical spell … right now it is -10 air temp, -34 wind chill … Sunday and Monday we’ll be in the 50s.

      2. Yes, I was mad at this guy – twice I had to call him as he didn’t show up … next door used the snow blower on the 19th with the 6-inch snowfall and again he did it on Monday when we had about 5 inches. But he didn’t do the back. If he doesn’t do it Friday, I’ll push it myself with my one arm – trying not to lift. This weather has been a bugger – we had the snow, then freezing rain – glazed everywhere. The snow from the snowblower flew up on the mailbox and front door and the ice sealed it shut … had to chip away at it. Now we have this bitter cold – I am up later than usual, partly as I did a long post but I wanted to go down and put in a small load of laundry to warm the pipes and run all the taps full before putting them to trickle again. We had a natural gas explosion today (not near me) and so a lot of gas was lost – we, as consumers, as being asked to limit our use of natural gas, dropping our furnace to 65 and 62 when not home. I have mine at 73 all Winter. I’m not so inclined to drop to 65 when there is a danger of any pipes freezing. I will drop it some after this cold spell is over on Thursday night and temps moderate. We have 50s on Sunday/Monday – silly weather.

      3. you shovelled your neighbours drive for years,you’d think he’d ask his son to help you out!
        I always watched out for weather like that.It means the snow and top ice on all the lakes will melt. Than it’ll freeze solid but as flat and perfect as ice can ever be! I kept my skates in the trunk for days like that.I’d go off skating on this lake or that lake having a ball!

      4. You’d think so … I’m grateful he did the front, but it caused the snow service guy to not even come by – that makes me mad. I’ll see if he comes tomorrow to do the side/patio so I can get in the back yard. I need to move the snow from the eaves troughs for the warmer weather and rain we’re getting this weekend. Down at the River, Pril, a young woman who lives by me, said that the eagles have been flying from the nests at Mud Island and going to the ice floes to catch fish. I saw this last year and memorialized it in this blog. My eagle is not so big here as he sat on a piece of ice. This post done 01/28/18 caused Uncle Tree to send me the link to your blog to see what you did with eagles. :) I’ll try to get there this weekend depending on the weather.
        Now we have wintry precip at times, so we’ll see.

      5. Funny I just thought of the word “cocooning” this morning as I was getting bundled up to go out and decided it would be a good Winter blog title – maybe for Groundhog Day if the Groundhog’s prognosis is bad. I think Uncle Tree is still in a funk about his bad year with the deaths of his nephew and mom. I believe Keith was the first person to follow my blog that was not a friend who subscribed by e-mail – I was amazed and said “how did you find this blog?” He was searching for “tree” and I had mentioned trees at the Park. I never used tags on my blog posts until about a year ago, when my blog was 5 years old. It will be 6 years old next month. I contacted UT two days ago. I went on one of his old posts about trees featured on his main page. I saw a tree quote and sent it. I did this because it was his birthday yesterday. Last year in January he mentioned he had a birthday on January 30th. I said “so adding another ring huh?” He thought that was funny and used that “adding another ring” on his birthday post – it was a significant birthday, as he was turning 60. Big milestone turning a new decade. I remembered his birth date – it is significant to me as it is between two unforgettable dates in my mind … my grandmother died on 01/29/86 and my mother died on 01/31/10, nine years ago today. So, the birth date stuck with me. I sent him well wishes and he wrote back to say thanks. They are cold there in Lincoln, Nebraska, not as bad as here, but still cold pretty cold.

      6. Hi Wayne – I shoveled (with one arm – grrrr) and got to the backyard. Looked around at the animal tracks (many) and I checked out the cotoneaster … no berries on it right now and not a single leaf remains. I have a Cranberry Cotoneaster and I just Googled to see if this bush is hardy in Zone 6B and it is, but that zone is -5 to zero and we went to -13 this week, so it might be toast when Spring arrives.

      7. I didn’t know that there were different types of Cotoneaster? I’m sure a few plants have died during this last cold spell! The way you tell if its really cold is when small trees explode. It looks like someone put a M80 inside the tree.

      8. Yes, different colored berries and shapes. Mine is a low shrub and it has these uneven branches that stick out – I have to prune it back a bit in front as it goes over the edge of the perimeter garden. No pictures here, just the various types … https://homeguides.sfgate.com/cotoneaster-varieties-74043.html
        I hope my miniature weeping Japanese Maple doesn’t explode – the first three years I had it, every Winter I staked it all around and made a wind barrier out of burlap to surround it and burlap on top of it. I used to put a big felt bow on it at Christmas so it did not look so ugly. It was a small tree and now it is the centerpiece of the garden.

      9. You are right about a layer. Actually, a layer of snow is good – the snow acts to insulate tree and plant roots. I just mentioned this to another blogger in Pennsylvania who is worried about her garden – she, like me, lost alot of plants and bushes in the two Polar Vortexes we had in 2013 and 2014. Pennsylvania was not hit as hard as Michigan with the air temps and wind-chill this past week. For this week’s Polar Vortex, here in Michigan we had a good four inches of snow and that would have protected the roots and also we had a lot of rain in 2018 – it was one of our rainiest years on record. When we had the first Polar Vortex in 2013 we were deficient with rain, not drought conditions, but not a lot of rain had fallen. I had been giving my tree a good soaking through the Fall so it would overwinter well, but I didn’t do so with anything else – I never did that. So the roots were dry … that is how the guy called “The Garden Doctor” on WJR radio explained it to listeners who, like me, lost many plants/bushes. So, hopefully we’re better off this year, but the air temps went lower than my zone hardiness tolerance, so that is troubling.

      10. I do have landscape fabric down, but it likely has disintegrated by now. I used styrofoam cones for my tea roses, but they still died over a regular Winter if not enough moisture in the roots (this was years and years ago) and so I ripped them out and planted hardier bush roses … the Home Run Roses are hardy to Zone 8 (I’m 6B) but we’ll see.if they rally back like last time with some TLC.

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