November 20, 2008

We’ve got some crisp, cold weather this week.  Okay, I should probably say that it’s cold for the south.  I know our northern neighbors would probably snicker at us for whining about a little nip in the air and frost on the ground.

A lot of trees have lost their leaves, but some are still hanging on.  The oak tree at the corner of our front yard and driveway has leaves that have turned rusty red.

Some mornings I get mooned as it is still visible in a lovely blue sky.

We’re having some beautiful sunny days here in the south, even if they’re cold enough to freeze ice in the water buckets!

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!

Tree In Creek

October 8, 2008

Please note, that’s a tree IN the creek, not BY the creek.

A few weeks ago we had some windy days.  Apparently one of the trees by the creek gave it up and fell in the water.  We first noticed it when The Farmer was out making the path in the woods.

 I figured it couldn’t have happened too long before we found it, since the leaves were all still green.

When I was out walking this past Monday, I took another picture of the tree.  By then the leaves were pretty well all dying and brown.

The Farmer and I have been wondering what would happen when we got a hard rain. If the tree stayed put, it would catch a lot of debris and water would back up behind it and flood over the road.  It’s not unusual for water to flood over the road, because the county put in two smaller culverts instead of one big one, and the debris catches there and water backs up.

Fortunately for us, that part of the road is past our driveway, so we aren’t really affected.

It started raining yesterday, and by mid-morning today we had 3 1/4 inches of rain in the gauge. When it finally stopped raining long enough for me to go out and do chores (hey! the animals weren’t out of their sheds either!), I took a walk back to see what had happened with the tree.

Obviously, the tree wasn’t heavy enough to withstand the pressure of all that water pushing at it, and gave way.  I thought it might since it wasn’t buried into the ground to help anchor it in place.

And by the way, if you compare the tree stump on the bank in the first picture to this last picture, you can see how high the creek water was!

Name That Tree!

September 1, 2008

It’s not unusual for everything and everyone around here to be a little nuts.  But come this time of year, it’s even nuttier than usual!

We have several huge black walnut trees in our backyard, and they are loaded down with nuts.  Down in the bottom pasture there’s a big old hickory tree, and it too has an abundance of nuts this year.

Hickory Nuts

Hickory Nuts

There’s another big nut tree by the driveway.  I thought at first it was a hickory tree, but the nuts on it don’t look quite the same.

Whatever this tree is, it’s loaded down with nuts!  So…. what is it people????

Now The Farmer and I checked out hickory nut trees yesterday in a book we have called, “Guide to Southern Trees” by the Harrars.  We were surprised to discover there are no less than 15 types of hickory trees, and that pecan trees are actually considered to be a type of hickory.

Also interesting to note is the fact only 3 of the 23 known species of hickories and pecans occur outside the United States, with 1 being in Mexico, and the other 2 native to the Orient.  A truly American group of trees!

So we’ve figured out that both these trees are indeed some kind of hickory, but the question remains, exactly which ones???

Even though in 10th grade we had a project in biology class to identify trees during the winter by their bark and twigs, I’m afraid I’m not very good at it.  So how about you?  To aid in your identification of this tree, I took a picture of the trunk/bark. 

I will be eagerly awaiting to hear from some smart person who can tell me what kind of hickory tree this is!