Sunday, January 15, 2017

Outdoor Mom's Journal - January 2017

During our outdoor time this week we went....

around the yard one day before another snowfall. I spent time noticing the flowers that were still on the plants, the milkweed seeds still clinging to some of the pods, and seed scattered on the snow for the birds that prefer to feed on the ground.

I stood by the Austrian Pine that my Dad and brother planted many years ago. It towers above me now. At the time they planted it, it could fit in the wheelbarrow.

The Austrian Pine has lots of pinecones on it. It's interesting to see how these pinecones differ from the ones on other pines here at the farm. Each tree seems to have a different type of cone.

Today, Sophia and Olivia went snow tubing which they enjoyed.

The weather was beautiful - in the 20s. It was over 35 degrees warmer than it was last week. Later this week, it will be near 40 degrees...or 55 degrees warmer. Such a wide swing in temperatures in a relatively short period of time.

The most inspiring thing we experienced was...

watching the birds. We have all the feeders filled now and there is a constant stream of birds at the feeders and sitting in the trees and bushes waiting for their turns.

The most common birds are black-capped chickadees, juncos, woodpeckers (different types), and blue jays. Occasionally, the male and female cardinals are making their appearances at the feeders.
Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)...

how much longer the beautiful oak tree by the driveway will survive. There are significant cracks and holes in it - some made by wildlife and other from age and the impact of nature.

I'm not sure how old the tree is...probably two or three hundred years old, I would guess. The width is impressive. It's a favorite landing spot of bald eagles.

In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting....

nothing at this point. However, I did go through copies and clippings that I had pulled out last year about gardening and flowers. In it were sketches of all the gardens I had planted - filled with perennials, bulbs, annuals, and wildflowers. It will be interesting to see what comes up this year.

With a very cold winter and many days with temperatures and wind chills below zero, I'm hoping that the strawberries come up this year. They were spreading a lot throughout the summer and well into the fall thanks to very warm temperatures. If they survive, we should get quite a few strawberries this year!

I added nature journal pages about....

nothing yet. My goal is to do a page tomorrow and then another by the end of the month. Two pages a month would seem to be a reasonable goal.

I am reading...

Adrift by Steven Callahan. It's a true story about a man who is lost at sea for 76 days. It's a very interesting book. I can't even begin to imagine what he went through. It's a fascinating look at the power of nature, the ocean, and sea life.

There are fish the author calls Dorados which I never heard of before reading this book. Looked them up online and they also are called Mahi-Mahi (which I've heard of). They can get up to 90 pounds and are colorful fish. However, once they are caught they change colors.

I am dreaming about…

warmer weather later this week. Am looking forward to hopefully seeing some of the ice melt around the barn so we can chip it away and open the doors again. Right now doing chores is a bit challenging.

A photo I would like to share...

is one that Sophia took with my camera. It's a woodpecker sitting on the line by the driveway. It's waiting in line to eat at the feeder.

The birds have gone through almost a whole big bag of bird seed in less than a week. They've been working on the multiple suet cakes that are out too. Clearly, they are dependent on the feed we're providing for them. Hopefully we'll continue to see the variety of birds that we've enjoyed seeing.
Thank you to Barb the Outdoor Hour Challenge for the idea of doing an Outdoor Mom's Journal.

1 comment:

Rita said...

Lovely post! We're supposed to be in the 30s starting on Wednesday--for days! It is going to feel like spring! My garage door has been frozen shut since Christmas and when Dagan and Leah and her brother, Aaron, were here last night they went out and shovel, chopped, and used critter friendly deicer to get it open so I can get to my big bin of bird seed again. :) And now it might all melt down quite a bit, I guess.

Beautiful photos. Enjoy the warmer weather !! :)