As tired as I am of cold and snow, the Park was beautiful as the sun rose on a fresh snowfall last weekend.
The outflow from the lake in the Park is about the only open water around now. All of the lakes and ponds and even some of the streams and rivers are frozen over.
One of my African Violets is blooming, adding a welcome bright spot to my dining room.
The days are slowly lengthening as the sun moves closer, and when temperatures rise above freezing for a day or two, it’s hard not to think about Spring, but I know it is just a tease. We have a long way to go yet!
From Christmas Day on, we were in the deep freeze. Temperatures stayed near or below zero day and night. One morning I had to delay Abbie’s walk until noon, because her feet got so cold, she simply couldn’t manage it. The bitter wind cut through my many layers of clothing and seemed to reach my very bones!
Last weekend we finally got a break, and in typical Michigan fashion temperatures soared to Springlike levels. Now we are on the other part of the roller coaster as temperatures plummet and we will soon be knee-deep in snow again.
As always, when the weather is harsh, my feeder draws many birds. I was excited to see a Red Breasted Nuthatch this year. They don’t show up here very often, so I am very pleased to have this one as a regular visitor.
Just as well I didn’t have any big plans for Christmas. Snow moved in on Christmas Eve and continued through the night and most of Christmas Day. The first photo was taken early in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and the second one was taken on Christmas Day.
As if to make up for the miserable weather, my Christmas Cactus decided to bloom right on time! Last time it bloomed around Easter!
Inclement weather always brings lots of birds to my feeder, and I was able to get a couple of nice shots of this female Cardinal.
Deep snow on the deck railing was a bit of a challenge for this Titmouse!
Late Fall and early winter don’t usually offer much to inspire me to bring out my camera. Once the leaves are gone and before snow comes to brighten up the landscape everything looks tired and brown.
I did manage to catch a beautiful sunrise at the Park one morning. This is one of the rewards I get for dragging myself out of a warm house at the crack of dawn to walk Abbie!
I must confess, I was able to capture this sunset from the relative comfort of my own deck. 🙂
The first snowfall of the season left close to a foot on the ground, and soon covered my modest attempts at outside Christmas decorations.
Years ago, my husband and I enjoyed putting lights one of the Spruce trees on the front lawn, but all three of them are giants now, and I could not even imagine trying to reach the top of any of them, so I settle for stringing lights along the deck railing and filling some pots with evergreens and Poinsettias.
Storm warnings are up for my area. If I had any doubts about the accuracy of the forecast, the traffic at my bird feeder would convince me! The birds always seem to know if inclement weather is on the way, and there has been a constant stream of them coming to my feeder since first thing this morning.
Not only are we expecting heavy snow, but it is bitterly cold, and this Goldfinch is puffing his feathers up against the frigid air.
My choir practice has been cancelled for tonight, so I am hunkered down for the duration. Other than feeding the horses and walking Abbie, I will not be venturing outside until tomorrow!
On Wednesday we were blessed with more sunshine, and I was able to get a few nice shots.
There was a fairly heavy frost, only the second one we have had so far this season, but this was just a taste of what was to come.
The horses were grazing under the Mulberry Tree, and Twiggy did not seem to mind the leaves falling on her back. She is such a good-natured soul!
More sunshine today (Friday), but we are really getting a taste of Winter. Temperature dropped into the teens overnight, and I had to set up the heated bucket for the horses’ water. Will drop down into the low teens tonight, but is supposed to be above freezing for the weekend.
I have lost count of the gloomy, wet and cloudy days we have experienced lately, but on Friday the sun paid us a brief visit, so I took the camera to the Park to find some color.
Wind and rain had stripped many of the leaves from the trees before they could turn, but I did find a few bright spots.
It was unseasonably warm again today, and we even had a brief thunder-storm, but colder temperatures are on the way and the next few nights will be below freezing.
I hung the bird feeder yesterday, and it is already doing a brisk trade. I don’t put out seed in the summer as I find it draws squirrels, mice and the odd possum, which sends Abbie into a tizzy. It always surprises me how quickly the birds discover it is back. They must pass the word around to each other!
Cooler, drier weather has allowed us to venture into the woods for some of our walks. On a very still morning, parts of the lake looked like a reflecting pool.
We had a little taste of Fall last week, which I really did not mind, as the mosquitoes and deer fly were less active, allowing me to work outside in peace.
I often come across a toad in or near my barn, and the cats, fortunately do not seem to bother them. This fine specimen has to be the biggest one I have ever seen!
The numbers on the ruler don’t show up well in the photo, but he measured almost six inches long.
Hot, humid weather or rain has kept me cooped up in the house for several days, but cooler, drier air has finally moved in and I have been able to catch up on some mowing, and snap a few photos.
My resident Barn Swallows have young in the nest and escort me when I mow, swooping around my head like miniature fighter planes, catching the bugs I stir up. I so enjoy their company!
I decided to see if I could grow some decorative gourds in a container next to the deck. To keep them from spreading all over the lawn, I trained them up the fence of an unused dog pen. It did not look promising at first, but now it looks like I will have at least a few to decorate my table in the Fall.
Areas to the north and south of me have had lots of rain lately. There has even been serious flooding to the north, but somehow the promised rain kept skipping my area. After waiting all day for storms which never arrived, I was really surprised to see a rainbow just before sunset, a couple of weeks ago.
The unsettled weather did make for some interesting cloud formations. I love to watch the storm clouds build.