“If you want something new,
you have to stop doing something old”
Peter F. Drucker
“The secret to so many artists living so long
is that every painting is a new adventure.
So, you see, they’re always looking ahead
to something new and exciting.
The secret is not to look back.”
Norman Rockwell



“Change is the end of something you know
and the beginning of something else
that you don’t know.
Something new that holds opportunities.”
Kholoud Yasser



“It is only when we are ready
to give up on some things in our lives
that we could receive new things.”
Sunday Adelaja



“So may the New Year be a happy one to you,
happy to many more
whose happiness depends on you!”
Charles Dickens
Photos by Woodland Gnome
January 1, 2018

What I am reading this week:  Garden Revolution by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher

Weaner and Christopher captivated my interest on the first page.  Theirs is a practical philosophy of gardening, which guides our doings and our not-doings.  They garden to guide a thriving eco-system in the proud tradition of  Doug Tallamy and Rachel Carson.

Many thanks to my dear friend who gifted me with a fresh copy of Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home last week, inspiring me to remind myself of its important guidance.

I am reading these books now to focus on the bigger picture of why I garden,  ahead of beginning my Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener training class next week.

These authors remind us that often less is more; that cooperation with nature always adds value to our efforts, and sparks hope for our ecosystem and the continued viability of life on our planet.

January is my favorite time of year to study gardening books and catalogs.  If you use these frosty days and long winter nights for study, too; I invite you to take a look at these inspiring volumes.

‘Faux’ Snow?

It remained above freezing, 32F, during our snow yesterday and well into the night. How did this snow accumulate on such a warm day?

It remained above freezing, in the mid 30s F,  during our snow yesterday and well into the night. How did this snow accumulate on such a warm day?


I remember watching it snow through the classroom window, all those years ago. 

Snowflakes filled the air, and we all hoped for an early release followed by a ‘snow day’ off.  But as hard and fast as the snow fell, it barely covered the grass outside our school; the parking lot shiny wet but clear.  It just wasn’t sticking.  Why?  Do you remember when it had to be freezing for snow to ‘stick?’

In grade school science classes we learned that ice forms at 32F or 0C.  Snow formed in the frozen clouds high above our heads and drifted down to Earth.  But if the Earth was still warm, it melted on contact.  Oh, those were the days….. of real snow and normal weather.


January 17, 2016 snow2 005


Yes, I’m nostalgic.  As lovely as our snow might have left the garden yesterday, the uncomfortable little secret, the truth in other words, is that our temperatures remained in the mid-30s all day yesterday and well into the night.  And yet, we watched huge, sloppy wet flakes of snow quickly cover the ground, the shrubs, tree branches and roofs.

We had nearly 2″ of snow on the deck railings before it quit in mid-afternoon.  And such a heavy snow!  It weighted down the shrubs and bamboo terribly, uprooting and bringing 30′ bamboo stalks over to touch the ground under the weight of it clinging to their upper branches.

We had early morning rain, yesterday, before it changed over to the frozen stuff, which left puddles of water on the front patio.  Those puddles never froze all day; and yet flakes of ‘slush’ floated on top much of the afternoon.

When I made my afternoon circuit around the yard, broom in hand knocking some of the weight off of the bamboo and the shrubs, my boots sank down into the muddy wet ground.  The ground was far from frozen, and yet was covered in an inch of ‘snow.’

How is this even possible? 


Snow remains on trees, roofs, and the garden late this afternoon. Once the temperature finally dropped overnight, it went down to the 20s for much of today.

Snow remained on trees, roofs, and the garden late this afternoon. Once the temperature finally dropped overnight, it went down to the 20s for much of today.


Maybe you remember, as I do, a certain company’s TV ad slogan : “Better Things for Better Living…. Through Chemistry.”  It was their official slogan from 1935 until 1982, so I grew up hearing it often.  Chemical company research has improved daily life in many ways.  And it has also produced some pretty noxious products which have done great harm to our environment.  Scientific research remains a mixed bag in any area you care to name.

But it was in the early 20th Century, in our modern era, when entrepreneurial scientists first began to offer their services to ‘make rain’ in drought stricken areas of our country.

The city of San Diego hired Charles ‘Rainmaker’ Hatfield for $10,000 to fill the Lake Morena reservoir, after several years of severe drought.  Hatfield mixed and then heated certain chemicals together to ‘seed’ the clouds; with dramatic results.  He couldn’t spray them from an airplane, but he burned the chemicals on tall towers around the lake.  Hatfield was too successful.

After 17 days, 11.4 inches of rain fell, flooding the lake, bursting dams, causing mudslides.     Residents sued the city for millions of dollars worth of damage.  San Diego never paid their ‘Rainmaker’ for his efforts because of their catastrophic results.


Beginning as rain, our snow yesterday soon grew thick and heavy. The forecast for 'scattered flurries' mushroomed into hours of heavy, accumulating snow. More is on the way....

Beginning as rain, our snow yesterday soon grew thick and heavy. The forecast for ‘scattered flurries’ mushroomed into hours of heavy, accumulating snow. More is on the way….


There is a long history of efforts to change the weather; a mostly silent history, as it is very controversial.  California cities have been hiring rainmakers off and on through much of this century to relieve droughts, according to a series of articles published in the LA Times.

Our government grew interested in manipulating the weather as a way to influence the battlefield as early as the 1940’s Project Cirrus.  Experiments have been ongoing, under many project names.  You didn’t read about this in your high school history class?  I can’t imagine why….

Ask a Viet Nam veteran about how our government extended the monsoon season to flood North Vietnamese roads in the 1960’s.  Known as “Operation Popeye,” this highly classified program continued from 1967-1972.


Just before sundown today, and I'm surprised at how much snow remains.

Just before sundown today, and I’m surprised at how much snow remains.


The first successful experiment in creating a snowstorm came as early as November, 1946 over New York.  Dry ice was dropped from a plane into the clouds, and it snowed.

But results from these experiments continue to be unpredictable.  Sometimes they work; sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes they work too well, causing property damage and loss of life from the ensuing storms. 

But the experimentation not only continues, it is now global.  Popular Science Magazine ran a series of articles about the weaponization of the weather as early a 1958.  In 1977, the United States was one of several countries who ratified a Convention at the UN to ban weather modification as a weapon of war.  Even so, accusations between nations continue as fantastic weather events unfold each year.

But now there is a new adversary in these ‘weather wars’:  the warming of the planet.  Though there are a myriad of causes for our steep increases in temperatures lately, scientists are working with many experimental protocols to slow the trend.

Which brings us back to snow.


January 18, 2015 snow 005


Have you ever used a chemical ice pack?  These are kept at the ready for athletes to ice their injuries, and are sold in most every drug store.

Our chemists have learned how to mix chemicals in a way to create ice.  And, our geoengineers have come up with a chemical soup they can spray over rain clouds, which will cause ‘chemical ice nucleation.’  This is how snow can fall when it is as warm as the low 40s F. Several US patents have already been granted for these mixtures and processes.

We all know that water can absorb and store heat.  Water vapor super cooled chemically, has proven effective in sucking heat out of the atmosphere as it falls.  This is how it suddenly grows much colder while this ‘faux snow’ is falling, and how it can remain in a ‘frozen’ crystalline form even when the ground on which it has fallen remains above freezing.  This is an ‘endothermic reaction’ where the water vapor in our atmosphere absorbs heat energy, even as it chemically freezes.

In fact, this engineered snow, which may begin when temperatures are well above freezing, eventually results in  deadly cold temperatures.  Have you noticed the unusually cold temperatures, following snowstorms, over much of the planet in recent years?  These much publicized winter storms help confuse us about the extremely warm temperatures in other parts of our planet.


Snow freezes to the limbs, and lingers for a very long time. This photo was taken nearly 30 hours after our snow stopped yesterday.

Snow freezes to the limbs, and lingers for a very long time. This photo was taken nearly 30 hours after our snow stopped yesterday.


When you hear ‘heavy, wet snow’ predicted, be suspicious.  This geoengineered snow is much heavier than natural snow, and does tremendous damage to trees and shrubs.  For one thing, it freezes to the limbs and won’t fall off naturally, adding weight to limbs and branches for an unusually long time.

Geoengineered snow contains a number of heavy metals, used in the chemical nucleation process.  These metal particles, like Barium and Aluminum, contaminate everything they touch and get into our ground water supply.

Are all snow storms the product of geoengineering?  Probably not.  I hope not.

Once you begin to delve into this subject, you begin to watch weather forecasts with a different frame of reference, though.


January 18, 2015 snow 009


If you have read this far, and you’re thinking, “That Woodland Gnome really is a nut case to write this stuff;” then please just do a little more reading.  And please notice that I’m saying, “Please.”

Pour yourself a mug of your favorite beverage, polish your reading glasses, and just follow a few of the links I’ve embedded for you.  Each of those links will lead you to a few more, and you will see the vast body of hard evidence to back up what I’ve shared with you here.

Why would you do this?  Because you want to know a little bit more about this weird weather we are all experiencing lately. Just as we do.  

And while you’re at it, take a look at the Weather Underground’s Wundermap the next time a storm is approaching your area.  Set the parameters for several hours of history, and just watch closely.  Play around with it a little bit.  You may be a little surprised at what you see.


We enjoyed clear skies, brilliant sunshine, and very cold winds today. How wonderful to see a clear blue sky.

How wonderful to see a clear blue sky.  We enjoyed brilliant sunshine today, with frigid winds.  Looks alike a cold week ahead.



Woodland Gnome 2016





Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

Please visit and follow Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues to see all new posts since January 8, 2021.

A new site allows me to continue posting new content since after more than 1700 posts there is no more room on this site.  -WG

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 780 other subscribers
Follow Forest Garden on

Topics of Interest