Snow Days

Albuquerque NM, Winter Comments Off on Snow Days
Jan 302015

Sandia SnowSome days it just makes sense to stay inside and let nature take its course. In the end the results will be spectacular…and we'll have an all new panorama to enjoy.

Meanwhile it's very slippery out there. So be careful and don't take any chances.

 

 

 

Monte, The Grapefruit, Brightens Chicago Condo in Winter

Condo Living, That's Life, Winter Comments Off on Monte, The Grapefruit, Brightens Chicago Condo in Winter
Jan 142012

Meet Monte.

My daughter planted Monte last year when working in a Chicago highrise office. She loves plants as much as I do. I suppose this passion for nature is embedded in our DNA. Anyway, one day she came across a seed while she was eating a grapefruit. She decided to plant it to see what would happen.

As it turns out, grapefruit plants are excellent indoor plants. They are proof positive that you can enjoy the best of all worlds living in a Chicago condominium. You just need to open your eyes.

It was her pride and joy and the envy of her co-workers.  But then she changed jobs and Monte needed a new home.  At first she tried moving Monte to her home. But her cats just wouldn't leave it alone.

So now Monte lives in my condo with me. While I've planted avocados and potato vines I had no idea just how striking grapefruit plants are. The plant's large deep green leaves offer a dramatic accent to any decor.

Grapefruit plants grow very nicely with a little water (over watering will turn the leaves yellow),  MiracleGro and a little fluffing of the soil from time to time especially when you put them in a sunny window. But, they're not entirely self sufficient. They do require a little extra TLC. Two of the biggest problems are

1. Some cats love to chew on the leaves – not all cats, mind you (My own cats, are singularly uninterested in Monte.

2. Grapefruit plants – even if grown indoors – are prone to insects. I have no idea where these pests come from. Insecticidal soap and horticulture oil will resolve this issue. The trick is you can't buy these in small quantities here in the big city; but, that's ok because you may need to apply these remedies several times. The good thing is that the horticultural oil gives the leaves a lovely shine as you can see here.

I took this picture of Monte after the first Chicago snow in January 2012 because it provided such a wonderful contrast. Monte is a very welcome companion to have around during Chicago's dreary winter days.

Fall Begins to Give Way to Winter in Chicago

Business - Not As Usual, Chicago IL, That's Life, Winter Comments Off on Fall Begins to Give Way to Winter in Chicago
Dec 032011

This time of year here in Chicago, we take beauty wherever we can find it. Two days ago it was absolutely beautiful so I decided to treat myself to a rare visit to our local forest preserve. Admittedly this is a very rare treat with the cost of gas being prohibitive.It was a bright sunny day…one of the few gorgeous Midwestern late-autumn days of 2011.(That's right Winter doesn't actually arrive until December 22).  I needed a reminder that Chicago-land is not all concrete and glass. In this part of the country, the weather can be somewhat fickle and you want to enjoy it when you can. I spent a simply awesome afternoon enjoying one of the finest fall days of the season.Come with me…

Entry to Thatcher Woods

But don't be fooled. Winter is coming.Today, December 3rd, we have what I've come to call a Chicago-kinda-day…It's a balmy 47 degrees, gray and rainy. Not the kind of day you particularly want to be out and about. But I braved the weather anyway. This time, I decided to stay closer to home…and went just 3 blocks…when what to my wondering eyes did appear an entirely different scene …it's actually beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Oak Park has put on a magnificent display this year. 
 

 

Lake and Harlem. .

The shopping district near Lake and Harlem this year is ready for the Christmas season with delightful displays of Gingerbread Men lining both sides of the street. Although winter is still 19 days away, Oak Park is certainly ready and local shoppers are reminded that Christmas is just around the corner. The snow on those trees is artificial but it's just a matter of time before those whimsical displays are covered with the real stuff.

 

 

 

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There's considerable discussion about what the weather will bring our way this year. We remember very well last year's blizzard that dumped as much as 20" on us. Farmers Almanac suggests that we may well have a fairly mild winter this year. I hope so. (Sorry guys, I don't share your enthusiasm for Midwestern winters.) Be that as it may. Whatever comes our way, I encourage you to take advantage of any opportunities to enjoy the best of the season. It's the best way for city-slickers living in condominiums to avoid cabin fever.

 

This was sent to me…and I couldn't agree more!!

It's still winter. And snow is to be expected. But really…

We've had enough to last the rest of the season.

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