There were some type of tracks that led from the road toward our home.
I'm not sure what they are, but they belong to a medium-size animal.
The tracks are far enough apart to lead me to believe it's at least fox-type size. There are rabbit tracks with the unknown-animal-tracks, so there may be a predator-prey type situation going on.
The beautiful oak tree in the front looks like it may be coming to end of its life. There are limbs now that are hollow (see the limb on the right) because of birds making holes in them to find food and create nesting areas.
The gate leading to the west pasture shows a lot of rabbit traffic.
The west pasture is rather bleak at this time of the year. The ground is snow-covered and pond is dried up. The horses like spending time in this pasture, though. It's nice and open for them; and there are some pockets of trees - like little forested areas.
The wood that we split in October is in a pile. It's been excellent firewood for the woodstove this year. This came from trees that fell down during the past year due to weather and age.
The most inspiring thing we experienced was...seeing all the pine trees covered with frost. This is the front of the house. I'm standing across the road. The trees have grown in quite nicely.
The one on the far right is the one that my Dad and brother planted when the Austrian pine was small enough to fit in a wheelbarrow. Now it is almost as tall as the other trees.
The view down the road:
The frost on the Austrian pine:
A closer view:
An even closer view of some of the needles covered with frost:
Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)...why I haven't taken the time to put birdseed out for the birds. There is an absence of birds when I don't have suet and seed out. I like having a variety of birds here and if I regularly have food - seed and suet - in the feeders all around the front- and backyards, the birds are prolific.
With extra cold weather coming up later this week, I need to fill the feeders soon.
In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting....nothing. Everything is covered with snow at this point. I haven't begun planning yet. Will do that in January. Have several raised beds to consider for vegetables, fruit, and herbs. There are many flower beds with bulbs and perennials so I don't have to do too much with them.
The main garden I want to focus on in 2018 is the butterfly garden in the backyard that I have wanted to improve for many years now. 2018 needs to be the year to improve it!
I added nature journal pages about....nothing. Yet another month has gone by that I haven't added any pages. Perhaps after the holidays I can catch up. I think it would help if I had pre-printed pages that I would fill in rather than trying to do something from scratch. I've done this with a gratitude journal and it seems to be working well.
I am reading...books not related to nature. However, I did get a book called Flights of Fancy that I'm looking forward to reading when I am done with the book I'm reading now. It focuses on different birds in myth, superstition, and legend.
I am dreaming about…warmer weather and Spring already. It's still a few months off and we need to get through the rather brutally cold months of January and February.
In the meantime, I see the birds nests that are in some of the trees by the driveway. Each time I pull up in the driveway, I see these little nests that were tucked into the leaves and branches.
A whole little world of new life was going on so close to us, but protected by the leaves so we (and predators) couldn't see the newborn birds.
A photo I would like to share...this is one sunset that we enjoyed recently. I had to capture it before it changed too much, so I took the screen off the second-floor bathroom window and took a quick photo.
There's a power line that goes through the photo...yet I still like the colors of the sky. The photo doesn't do it justice. The clouds were all different shades of pinks, violets, purples, and magentas.
Thank you to Barb the Outdoor Hour Challenge for the idea of doing an Outdoor Mom's Journal.