Fifteen inches.  That's how much snow we had at our house.  And then two more inches on top of that the next night.  The weather forecast is for 60 degrees next weekend.  Maybe that will make all this snow history.  I am so done with winter.  Meteorological spring is two weeks away, yet seems so far off.  I took some photos around the front and back of the house that has buried a few tulips and daffodils that were starting to emerge.  I couldn't open the front door until I shoveled my way to it and cleared off the porch.

front yard looking toward street

     This photos shows the trees in the front yard with the snow covering much of their trunks.  The trunk of the Yoshino cherry tree in the background is half buried.

driveway to street

     Our driveway to the street was shoveled yesterday and is now covered with the extra two inches we received overnight.


     The mailbox was mostly buried even before the snow plow came down the street and threw some additional snow in front of it after I made a path to it.

back garden

     The emerging tulips in the back yard garden here won't see light for a week or more. 


    I have no idea where the steps are on this stairway from the deck to the back yard.

back fence

     The fence and gate in the back yard are only half visible.

deer in front yard

     Enough of the snow.  Two days before the snowstorm I was able to catch a few pictures of the deer as they came through the front yard.

stopping to eat

     This one actually stopped to eat.  Most of the time they don't linger in the front yard.  Too much open area I guess.

in the side yard

     They always quickly go down the side yard.

into the woods

     And then into the wooded area behind the house.  This was the only photo where I could get all four of them together.  Next post I am going to take you back to Florida (warmth!) and show more plants and trees from the Edison and Ford winter estates.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Edison Winter Estate
     My family and I are just back from our Florida vacation.  The weather was good about half of the time.  The remaining time was cold (the temperature hit 32 degrees two nights), cloudy or rainy.  But it was better than the northern Virginia weather where we missed two snow events and an arctic cold blast.

     While in Florida we visited the Edison and Ford winter estates.  Thomas Edison and Henry Ford both had winter homes in Ft. Myers next to one another.  Although we were not allowed to tour inside the houses, we were able to view some of the rooms of both houses through glass panels.

walkway into the gardens
     But the gardens were most interesting to me.  The following photos are just a sample of the many trees and plants on the estate grounds.

red powderpuff
     The red powderpuff (Calliandra haematocephala) is an evergreen shrub that likes full sun and high humidity.  This one was from Bolivia.

Queen's wreath
     Queen's wreath (Petra volubilis) is a tropical, twisting vine that looks similar to wisteria.  It can have blue or white flowers.  This photo shows the twisting base of this particular vine.

white frangipani

      White frangipani (Plumeria alba) is a species of plumeria from the Caribbean that is different from the others; the leaves are long, narrow and curl inward.

sausage tree

       The sausage tree (Kigelia africana) from tropical Africa has long sprays of maroon, trumpet-shaped flowers.  The fruits look like giant sausages and can weigh up to 19 pounds.

Achiote or annato shrub/tree
      The Achiote shrub/small tree (Bixa orellana), sometimes called annato, has fruit that is heart-shaped and covered with spiky hairs.  It is native to tropical areas of the Caribbean and Mexico.

open fruit pod of the Achiote shrub
     This photo of the open fruit pod shows its red seeds.  A yellow to deep orange dye is extracted from the seeds and used as a natural colorant we call annato in food products.  The extract is also used as a commercial dye and for medicinal purposes.

    We spent a delightful and most interesting day at these estates. I will have more information and photos of other plants and trees we saw in future posts.