Abandoned in 1605...
Finished the latest book!

So, it's January already

Euonymus alatus, snow, October. Image ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved)
Back in Pennsylvania after a visit back to Britain and what happens - it snows, on 29 October. With up to 10in/25cm forecast before it eases off during the night. But it certainly makes Euonymus alatus, in its brilliant red fall color, look even more impressive than usual.

This shrub is much admired, but also much disparaged, here in the US as although its fall color is spectacular it can be invasive. You know what's coming next, a slightly cynical remark about the almost universal panic about invasiveness when any non-native plant throws a few self sown seedlings. Well, in some areas it can certainly be a problem. But we've been here for over ten years, and seedlings from these plants have popped up all over the place. But none has grown to more than a few inches - because the deer eat them.

In some cases, like Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), invasive plants take hold because the deer eat all the native competition. In this, it seems, the deer are doing us a favor.

UPDATE Just after I posted this we lost power. The weight of snow on the many trees still in leaf brought them crashing on to the power lines. So we built a fire, and we emptied the fridge and put the contents outside the front door where it was below feezing. We had about 12in/30cm of snow in all and the power came back a few hours ago - about 28 hours later. We intended to deliver the next book to the publisher first thing Monday morning. Sorry... no power = no computers... Late Sunday night and we're still getting it ready. It would have been different in the days of slides and typewriters.