Looking for Signs of Spring

February 12, 2009

We had a fair amount of wind yesterday, and a few showers.  This morning the weather was lovely, so Toby and I went for a little walk in the woods.

Almost as soon as we got in the woods, we saw new plant growth.  That’s a nice sign spring is on the way!

New plant growth.

There were also signs of wind damage, with a smaller tree blown down across the creek.

Tree Fallen Over Creek.

It will probably be swept away the next time we have enough rain for some high water.

On the way back towards the house, I noticed lots of patches of bright green grass, already growing 4 or 5 inches tall.

New Grass

Hey, I know it’s just grass, but it’s green, and it’s growing! That sure looks like a sign of spring to me.

Speaking of things that are growing…

Llama Lady.

Looks like to me that our lovely llama diva has a more rotund mid-section than usual. Sure hope this isn’t just wishful thinking and there’s a little cria growing in there! Her due date is April 1st, and I would love to see a healthy little one arrive on time.

That would be a GREAT sign spring was here!

Continued Cold in The South – That’s My World!

January 19, 2009

Mother Nature seems to have forgotten an important premise… it’s supposed to be relatively warm in the south.  Yes, it gets pretty cold in the winter sometimes, but it’s usually brief, and usually not much below freezing.

Lately, we’ve had much colder weather lasting for longer periods of time.  In fact, according to our local weatherman, we’ve had the coldest temperatures there’s been here in 6 years.  Me, I hope it’s at least another 6 years before it’s this cold again!

When I walk out to the mailbox, there is ice on the pond beside our driveway.  A little ice around the edges happens now and there most winters, but this much ice is too much!

There are lots of cardinals here that must brave the cold, cruel world for food and water. Here was one in the tree beside the birdbath.

However, the heater in the bird bath can’t keep up with the continued cold weather and let some ice form.

Even the birds can’t believe all this ice everywhere, and look in disdain at the icy water in the birdbath.

What’s with this?

When I walk out the back door and see the tub on our back porch – said porch having solid walls on two sides I might mention! – I see even the tub garden has a skim of ice on it.  I’ve never seen ice in this tub before.

There’s even a little iceberg forming where the water hits the surface.

After I’ve been out and done chores, I often go for a walk in the woods.  Even there, things are weird.  For instance, the creek has crusts of ice here and there along the sides.  With the swiftly running water, there usually isn’t any ice on the creek.

The shallower water in some of the sloughs is totally frozen.

And strangest of all, the ground is crunchy. That’s right, when I walk through the woods, my steps make crunching sounds.

That’s just wrong. The ground in the south is supposed to be dry and hard, or maybe wet and sloppy, but it is NOT supposed to be frozen and crunchy.

Just take a close-up look of our crunchy ground.

Ice, my world is full of ice, and that just isn’t right!

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2008

I gave myself and Toby a Christmas present this morning, and went for a walk back through the woods. We hadn’t been back there since before The Farmer’s knee surgery, so it’s probably been about 3 weeks.

While The Farmer was in the hospital we had a lot of rain. Over a foot of rain in fact. It filled up the pond and flooded the bottom pasture and across the road below our driveway.

I looked to see if the flood waters had moved the tree that fell in the creek a month or two ago, and sure enough, it’s disappeared. And I do mean disappeared. I have no idea where it ended up! I couldn’t see it anywhere. I thought it would get caught in one of the bends of the creek, but the water was so high, there’s no telling where it floated off to.

At first, I thought this tree might be it…

However, when I got to looking closer, I noticed it has a line of barbed wire connecting the fallen tree to the upright tree beside it, so obviously it wasn’t the previously fallen tree from further up the creek.

This one isn’t actually in the creek, but just has part of the tree hanging out over it.

It rained so hard you can’t see where the tree broke off except for a patch of smooth, bare dirt.

There’s always a lot of trash that washes down the creek when it floods.

I thought it was interesting to see this plastic crate caught in some tree roots along the creek bank.

The water was much higher than usual, and muddy. That didn’t deter Toby from splashing out into the middle of the creek and goofing off.

“Aren’t you coming?”

I declined to follow him into the creek today. Considering I wasn’t wearing boots and how deep and fast the water was running, it would have been a very cold and very wet adventure!

On the way back home, we walked through a different area of woods than our usual route.  I noticed a lot of persimmons on the ground.

I was rather surprised to see so many.  The persimmon trees I’d seen earlier were already pretty bare of fruit.  However, when I looked around and spotted the persimmon tree nearby, I could see there was still fruit WAY UP in the top of the tree.

 That’s the trouble with fruit trees in the middle of a wooded area.  The trees grow way tall, and there’s no way you can get to the fruit.  I guess the birds and squirrels and raccoons and whatever other critters like such stuff can enjoy it however.

There’s certainly a good bit left for them to munch on!  With persimmons, hickory nuts, walnuts and acorns, there ought to be plenty of food available for wildlife able to reach it.

I was pretty tired by the time Toby and I made it back out.  Guess sitting around in the hospital with The Farmer kind of blew any conditioning I had.  We’ll have to get back in the habit of walking after chores each morning so I build up a little more stamina.

Walking in the woods is a pleasant way to get a little exercise!

That’s My World – A Walk In The Woods

November 10, 2008

Almost every morning when I’m out to do the morning chores, my canine companion, Toby, and I go for a walk. We go down through the bottom pasture and into the woods.

We have about 4 acres of woods on our little farm, so although not real big, it’s enough to get in there and not see any civilization.

We had some rain a few days ago, causing a lot more leaves to fall off the trees and carpet the path.

Going into the woods and under the bigger trees makes me feel a little like I’m a hobbit or elf or something, treading along through Middle Earth in the Lord of The Rings.  It’s so tranquil, and a great way to start the morning.

Our usual path through the woods takes us by a big hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis). The morning sun and a low limb makes an interesting pattern of shade on the big tree’s trunk.

This is the same tree that had all the slugs crawling up and down the trunk earlier this year.  It’s too cold now for such critters to be sliming their way up and down the tree, so we didn’t see any today.

We passed by an old fallen log with a covering of moss, plus an added decoration of a bright red leaf.

Eventually we meander along the creek. With the sun shining so brightly today, it made some nice reflections of the trees in the water.

In the deeper areas of the creek, we can usually see some minnows swimming along. They zip by pretty quickly, so it’s hard to get a picture.

The reflection off the water also makes getting a decent picture difficult, but at least you can see there’s little fish in there!

It doesn’t matter how cold it is, Toby has to splash around in the creek.  He loves playing in water!

Many of the fallen leaves have caught on some rocks in the creek and made a little dam, slowing the flow of the water.

They’ll eventually float away, especially if we get more rain and it raises the water levels for a while.

Further down the creek there is a fallen log.  It’s been there a long time, and has created another bit of a dam in the creek.

The water and floating leaves rush over one or two little sections.

Listening to the water flowing along is quite soothing.  Maybe a walk in the woods would be better than medicine for high blood pressure or depression!

Here’s another little video taken from the bank hanging over top of the end of the log.  I kind of like this one because at the end a walnut goes floating over and bobs in the water.

On the loop back through the woods, there are ferns here and there. It may be fall, but some things are still green.

Sometimes we wander around the paths in the pasture at the end of our walk, but that’s more fun in the spring and summer when there are butterflies and other bugs livening up the place.

For today, That’s My World is a walk in the woods.

Today’s Tree In Creek Pictures

October 9, 2008

The water is down, and the tree is now long wise in the creek instead of across it.

Toby helped me check things out, but he wasn’t brave enough to jump in the water today!

The top of the tree is still spanning the width of the creek bed, but another bout of high water will break off a lot of those branches as they dry out and get brittle.

It’s still cloudy today and looks like we could get more rain. I guess that would be good, as we’re still way behind on rainfall averages. It just plays havoc with my work cause of the “rain pain”. Such is life!