glassy walk in the woods

Took a walk in the woods on Christmas eve and took lots of pictures.

a wooded hill overlooking the upper beaver pond

a wooded hill overlooking the upper beaver pond

birches at the edge of the canary grass field

birches at the edge of the canary grass field

looking down at the upper beaver pond

looking down at the upper beaver pond

looking out over the beaver stream, into the hawk field--night coming on. this is about 4 pm.

looking out over the beaver stream, into the hawk field–night coming on. this is about 4 pm.

at the edge of the hidden meadow

at the edge of the hidden meadow

ice on apple tree twigs

ice on apple tree twigs

everywhere I walked I scattered broken bits of ice. It was like walking through a china shop.

everywhere I walked I scattered broken bits of ice. It was like walking through a china shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Storm!

For the Solstice we got a lot of ice and lost power. I’ll post a few photos here, but don’t have much time to write–we’re running errands and want to get home before dark!

David helped by Norman choosing seeds from the Jonny's and Fedco catalogs

David helped by Norman choosing seeds from the Jonny’s and Fedco catalogs

Mr Fluff relaxes by the Christmas Tree. This is when we still had electricity.

Mr Fluff relaxes by the Christmas Tree. This is when we still had electricity.

Then the ice came--here is an ice-laden pine tree.

Then the ice came–here is an ice-laden pine tree.

I spent some time in the barn with the horses--here is Casey, looking out at the icy world.

I spent some time in the barn with the horses–here is Casey, looking out at the icy world.

a lot of tree branches came down, and some entire trees broke under the weight of the ice. This was a box elder tree in the horse pasture.

a lot of tree branches came down, and some entire trees broke under the weight of the ice. This was a box elder tree in the horse pasture.

Branches of the Norway Spruce in our back yard

Branches of the Norway Spruce in our back yard

 

the apple tree near the woodshed

the apple tree near the woodshed

the Christmas tree

the Christmas tree

 

then the lights went out. we sat at the kitchen table with lots of candles, reading, playing cards, etc.

then the lights went out. we sat at the kitchen table with lots of candles, reading, playing cards, etc.

cooking breakfast this morning by candlelight.

cooking breakfast this morning by candlelight.

The worst is over for now. We still plan on having our traditional Christmas Eve caroling party, even if it is by candlelight!???????????????????????????????

 

 

Decorating continues…

Why are there cats in nearly every picture I take? And why are they always so relaxed looking? Here is the tree just after I finished decorating, with Mr Fluff snoozing nearby. He didn’t lift a whisker to help me. ???????????????????????????????christmas time 009Norman and Tater were equally lazy while I unpacked and hung the ornaments. Tater tried to sit on one of the big cardboard boxes that we store the ornaments in and I had to shoo him off before he broke a bunch of them. Norman thought the fancy strings of lights were interesting, but not interesting enough to jump down off the couch to explore.christmas time 019I love turning all the lights off to admire the tree in all its glory.christmas time 017???????????????????????????????I’m a sucker for tinsel–so pretty and shiny! christmas time 005Merry Christmas!

Catalog season starts early this year

I thought that catalogs arrived in January, but we already got the Jonny’s and Fedco seed catalogs, and yesterday the Bluestone Perennial catalog arrived. I enjoyed looking through the Bluestone catalog–I am thinking about planting some ilex, winterberry, bushes next Spring. They are native, and pretty, and good for birds. In the Fedco book I decided which flower seeds to order. As always my list includes delphinium and nasturtium. I also will order heliotrope, sunflowers, and zinnias. I think I’ll get cleome seeds as well. Meanwhile we are decorating for Christmas! We got a tree-farm balsam fir. It’s beautiful! dec 9 007The cats supervised our activities, either from the sofa, dec 9 010Or from the kitchen table:dec 9 018We put Tschaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” on the boom box and hang ornaments. Let the season begin!???????????????????????????????

the promised photos and more foggy trees

So, here are pictures of those geese (ducks?) and the frog garden ornaments I got from Jeanne. december 3 030These are painted metal, no marks indicating where they are made. One is much more detailed than the other. I thought of naming them Quick and Quack. Here is the frog:december 3 033David thinks it’s a rain chime–the rain falls into the little metal cups, they tip, hit each other, drop the water, fill again, etc. Sounds cool. I’m not excited about the frog statue, but I like the chimes.december 3 034Yesterday David put Christmas lights on a dwarf lilac bush by our front porch. It looks great in the fog–my camera doesn’t really do it justice.???????????????????????????????It’s a lot prettier in the full dark, of course. This morning I went out on the front porch and snapped a bunch of foggy pictures.???????????????????????????????

elm tree

elm tree

graceful white pine

graceful white pine

rugged maple tre

rugged maple tree

 

Winter garden down time

I like gardening in the north, where we get an enforced season of rest from weeding, planting, even admiring. There’s time for dreaming and planning, but doing nothing, not even reading or thinking about gardening, can make a good break. That doesn’t mean not enjoying the outdoors, however. This morning was foggy, everything looked ghostly and mysterious. December 2 005This is looking East where the ravine bisects the horse pasture. In the ravine are maples, willows, box alders and other shrubbery I have not identified yet. I also took a picture of the apple tree outside the woodshed. It’s still festooned with a few greenish/yellow/brown apples. I love the arch of the branches:December 2 006Over Thanksgiving break I went to my sister’s place. I’m sorry I don’t have photos, but I will describe the new garden art objects I carried home from her place and I’ll take pictures soon. I was walking back from her chicken coop and I saw two 20″ high metal ducks or geese, painted white. I admired them and wondered if these came with the old barn, or where she had found them. I liked them right away. Turns out she isn’t very fond of them, and I was welcome to take them home! She also managed to sneak in a third unwanted garden ornament–a frog holding a bunch of metal “flowers” that catch water and chime when they hit each other–hard to describe, I’ll have to show pictures. I’m not too sure about the frog, but I really like the geese. I also went to my parents-in-laws’ home and read a book there about trees that inspired me to learn more about them. In our yard we have lots of black walnut treesĀ  and a few white pine trees. Here’s a picture from this morning of a white pine in the foreground and a walnut behind:December 2 001 We also have a beautiful tall Norway Spruce in the back yard, and some maples and elms. On our 115 acres there are all the usual trees of this area: sugar maples, red maples, cedar, cheery, red oak, basswood, willows, ash, beech, birch, poplars, hawthorne, apples, and hop hornbeam. We’re planning a ramble in the woods as soon as hunting season is over, and I’ll take some pictures then.