Snowfall in March …

My hope for a continuous beautiful mild weather for the remaining weeks of the winter season has been totally dashed, as you will see from the photos below. Instead of bright sunshine, the first week of March saw plenty of rain and grey clouds. We even had a heavy bout of snowfall in the early hours of this morning.

I was expecting rain and maybe, sleet … certainly not heavy snowfall. As the hubby has reminded me on many an occasion, we are still in winter and the weather may yet change, with March being well known here for its patterns of unpredictable weather. So okay, he was right … and so my little bubble of happiness, thinking that I would be able to have an early start to my balcony potager given the mild winter weather in February, has been burst.

Thankfully, the temperature has not plummeted and so the snow that fell this morning were quickly swept away by the afternoon rain. So hopefully maybe, just maybe … my seedlings of Chinese mustard green and radish which I carelessly left uncovered at night will have survived their little snowy encounter!

The lovely snowy scene of early this morning. My poor garlic plants looked quite miserable under this inch-deep layer of fresh snow. And my tiny Chinese mustard green seedlings were totally hidden by the snow. Fortunately, I have spare seedlings growing in the protection of the mini greenhouse shelves!

As the landscape below us is now filled with newly built residential flats and those that are in the midst of being erected (which is nothing to rave about during heavy snowfall) … I thought it would be nicer instead to share a few shots of the view further down the hill which we are able to see from our balcony.

Enjoy … ūüôā

Hopefully, this will be the last snowfall of the season. If not … well, there is not much that I can do about the weather. I shall just have to learn to be patient and make the best of it. If I cannot attend to my plants, then … I shall just continue to do some winter foraging for edibles lah! ūüėÄ ūüėÄ

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A walk in the woods in winter …

Unless the weather decides to¬†spring a last minute wintry surprise, I am anticipating an early start to a fabulous spring. After the freezing¬†weather in January with¬†frequent snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures, the¬†weather in February has been relatively pleasant, often filled with bright sunshine. I hope it will continue this way until spring … but …¬†even if it does not, I am still¬†pleased that spring is just around the corner.

And as a little momento of the soon-to-be-over winter season, below are some photos of the day when the hubby and I decided to take the long route to do our grocery shopping by passing through the woods so as to be able to go walking on freshly fallen snow.

However, unlike the colourful photos that I had shared in my previous post of autumn colours, these photos are the total opposite. Apart from the spot of colour provided by the skiing jacket that the hubby was wearing during the walk, the photos are almost devoid of colour. Almost like black and white photographs … I love them! ūüėÄ

sam_0477aAfter the initially flurry of snowfall¬†just a few days after we went walking in the¬†woods to enjoy the beautiful autumn¬†colours in early¬†November,¬†it did¬†not make its grand appearance again until the first week of January. And when it came … what a nice change it made to the landscape.

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Covered in snow, the woods was magically transformed into a charming winter wonderland. And we were very fortunate that the snow which had been falling since the previous day finally stopped just as we reached the woods, so that I was able to take clear snapshots of our little walk.

sam_0494bA small bridge which we had to cross in order to continue our walk to the other side of the Flon river.

sam_0524bThe tree-tops in winter. What a contrast to those seen in autumn!

sam_0548bThe walking path along the river was totally obscured by the thick snow.

sam_0555bApproaching the first of several small waterfalls in the woods. We first discovered these waterfalls about three years ago.

sam_0559bFirst waterfall … incidentally, the nicest and the easiest to get to.

sam_0578bSecond waterfall, as seen from the top of a slope. It is not as nice as the first waterfall but this is definitely one of my favourite shots of that late Saturday morning walk. It looks almost otherworldly, does it not?

sam_0592bAnd the third that we managed to see that morning … although in this case, I am using the word waterfall in a loose sense.

sam_0616bOur last photo stop before heading to our local supermarkets … a small and totally frozen pond located at the periphery of the woods.

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These small red berries covered in snow provided such a beautiful contrast to the grey and white backdrop.

Even though I shall miss such a beautiful snowy landscape, the arrival of warmer weather means that I can now indulge in my other passion … gardening and foraging! So I have no complain if we do not get anymore flurries for the last remaining weeks of winter! he,he,he … ūüėÄ

 

Foraging for hazelnuts …

I started taking notes of the various places where I had seen the hazel trees fully laden with nuts as far back as in late spring. And from the sheer number of hazelnuts that I saw on many of the trees, I was gleefully anticipating an abundant hazelnut harvest for myself this year.

In fact,¬†I was so eager to start on my hazelnut picking this year that¬†I actually tried picking them as early as in late August before I would be returning to Singapore for a short visit home. I had hoped that maybe … just maybe, they might¬†already be ripe for picking.¬†Alas¬†much to my disappointment, they were not.

Unfortunately for me, by the time I came back in late September, many of these nuts were no longer on the tree. It would seem that I had missed that crucial period while I was away in Singapore … aarggh!!!

No doubt, it was frustrating to have to¬†search in several places in order to get my hands on¬†the hazelnuts when they were so many of them just¬†a few¬†weeks earlier. But … I did get my hazelnuts, even though I had to expend more time and more energy than I had anticipated. So despite the setback,¬†I am still very thankful for being able to gather some hazelnuts this year. ūüôā

dscn5243aBack in late August when the hazel¬†trees were full of nuts … which unfortunately were still green and had not ripened.

sam_6356aSo tempting, are they not?

sam_8642aThe hazelnuts taking a brownish tint to indicate that they have started to ripen. Once ripened, the nuts will fall off easily from the husks. Especially when a strong wind blows, many will fall to the ground. For those that are still attached to the husk (as in the picture above), just a slight nudge will help the process along.

sam_5239aAnother variety of hazelnuts which is not as common.¬†Instead of the usual green colour, the leaves¬†are brownish red …

sam_5238a.. and the nuts are in a beautiful shade of red. I had noticed this particular hazel tree before, but I had never paid much attention¬†to it.¬†But this year, I could not help but notice its beautifully¬†coloured nuts … and I decided that I would try to gather some to taste.

dscn5343aThe red hazelnuts (or filbert) after they have ripened.

sam_8810aMy modest harvest of hazelnuts for this year … so far …

sam_8931a…. including these from the red hazelnut tree. These red hazelnuts¬†actually tasted much nicer¬†than the common green ones. A pity that I did not pick them before … because the place where this tree grows has been slated for redevelopment.¬†So I cannot help but¬†wonder whether the tree will still be there next harvesting season … haizzz … ūüė¶

Although I would have liked to forage for more hazelnuts, I chose to spend more time foraging for another type of nuts which is a big favourite of ours, after realising¬†that its season had started! But more about that in another post lah! ūüôā