A Life of Varied Endeavors

Tag Archives: pacific northwest

Winterizing the Hardy Fern Foundation’s Hoop House

Yesterday, the Hardy Fern Foundation had a work party to get the hoop house winterized – that is covered in plastic.

I’m fairly new to the activities and workings of the Foundation, so some of my observations might be “duh” to some, and may be even less-than-accurate to others.  Nevertheless, here’s some background as I understand it.  Comments and corrections welcome!  Add them below!

Last winter (and the winter before, and the winter before…) we had a very cold winter in the Pacific Northwest, and an especially early frost that did significant damage to many of the ferns in the Foundation’s Nursery.  The new, really wonderful, hoop house was built this year (?).  Now, it needs some winter protection.   Just in time, since some possible frost has been forecast for the next few days.  (Yikes. What’s up with that?)

A group of hardy souls met yesterday, in the rain, to cover the hoop house.  They unrolled the plastic, tied ropes to its edges in about 4 places – camping style, threw the ropes over the top of the house, and pulled the plastic over the top from the other side.  Very impressive.  Then the plastic was put over the ends of the house and secured with “wiggly wire” and fir stripping.  The doors on one end were framed in lathe, so the plastic can be cut and the doors opened.  I wasn’t on hand for the entire process, being in a group of volunteers happily weeding away on some nursery stock, but here are some pictures of the very successful activities.  (I did get a chance to cut some of the fir stripping with a saw that one person characterized as a butter knife – but with old wet wood that saw worked for me!)

The Cascades – 20 minutes east in February

We don’t often get spectacularly sunny days in the middle of winter around here, and people in my line of work usually have to ignore them even when they do happen. This time it was too good to pass up.

Blue Sky, Cascades, February!

Blue Sky, Cascades, February!

There was an opportunity today – it’s cold and bright and sunny. Yesterday as I drove home from Mercer Island, I saw the snow-cappped Cascades, and got a strong desire to go for a drive towards the mountains for a few minutes.  What a delight! It’s easy to forget what a beautiful place we live in. The sky was a brilliant blue.

South Fork Snoqualmie

South Fork Snoqualmie

For some personal history and remembering, we drove though a development that David worked on when the houses were being built, say 10 years ago (?). It’s still  beautiful, tucked in the woods, and the homes and landscaping look well cared for. 

We went east on I-90 as far as the exit to the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Ice on some rivulets and roadside rock walls. We saw what we think was some serious beaver work on some trees near a collection pond. The river was very pretty, though in the shade. The moss was bright green and thick on many trees near Preston; there were ferns that we wouldn’t see in mid-summer.  I think they were licorice ferns (Polypodium glycyrrhiza).   All together a great break from sitting at the computer.

Ice in a Rivulet

Ice in a Rivulet

Did a beaver do this?

Did a beaver do this?

ferns in winter - dormant in summer

These ferns are dormant in the summer, I think.