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Posts tagged “Seasons

Cold Snap

It was so cold here on Tuesday night, my icicles grew ‘fur’!

I’m not sure how cold it was overnight, but it was -14F at eight a.m. Thank goodness the sun shone, which made it seem warmer, even if it wasn’t!

It has not been above freezing here for a long time now, but where the sun reaches the roof, we are getting some very impressive icicles.

At least there are some signs of life indoors. My Christmas Cactus is blooming, and the African Violet I re-potted recently is rewarding me with a new bud.:-)


Nature’s Ice Sculptures

Our Winter has been relatively mild until recently, but now we are experiencing a prolonged cold snap. Single digit temperatures at night, and barely reaching the teens during the day.

I have been tempted to hunker down and stay indoors, but yesterday the sun shone, so I decided to take a drive to Marine City, where a friend told me, ice floes have been building up at the edge of the St. Clair River.

Had to endure some frozen fingers to get these shots, but it was well worth it!

According to my trusty field guide, these are Redhead ducks, and are probably wintering here. There must have been thousands of them. They were riding the swift current downstream, and flying back to this sheltering spot. Perhaps the exercise helped keep them warm!


Winding down

Now that the leaves are gone, it becomes harder to find color outdoors, but we have enjoyed some beautiful sunsets.

We have seen very little of the sun lately, and I am struggling to keep my spirits up.

We have had a couple of light snows and my bird feeder has been busy. Possible storm coming next week.

It’s hard to believe we are almost at the end of November. I don’t think anyone will be sorry to see the end of 2020!


A Taste of Spring

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Took a tip from a Facebook Friend and picked up some potted Hyacinths with my groceries.

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While we are still locked in the grip of snow and ice outside, their scent is filling my living room with a hint of Spring, lifting my sagging spirits.

This was well worth the small investment!


Winter Trials

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A one day thaw, plus a mixture of snow, rain and sleet on top of the 5 inches of snow already on the ground, has left us with quite a mess!  Finding safe footing for my walk this morning was a challenge as the campground was covered with a mixture of ice and frozen slush.  No more thawing in the foreseeable future, so we will be dealing with this for quite a while.

 

The main road into the Park was in even worse shape than the campground.

My driveway is now a luge run.  Grateful for my all wheel drive car.


A Break in the Weather

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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.

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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.


Signs of Life

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As the weather finally begins to warm up, I see new signs of life appearing as if by magic.

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Pussy Willow is in full bloom now, and Forsythia is putting on a lovely show.

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A closeup shot shows some baby blooms on the lilac in my front garden.

The pasture is greening up nicely, and I can see I will soon have to think about mowing my lawn.


Oak Leaves On Ice

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Our weather continues to be very changeable.  We had another warm-up yesterday, but it rained all day, so it wasn’t pleasant.

We were back to freezing this morning and I captured these oak leaves on a frozen puddle in the Park.

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Frost decorated this fence-post a few mornings ago.

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My bird feeder continues to be busy.  Some days the birds are lining up on the deck railing, waiting for a turn!  I especially enjoy the Chickadees.  Always cheerful, even on the coldest days, and so bold, they will sometimes land on the feeder before I have it on the hook!


Wild and Crazy

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Well, we did get out of the deep freeze this week.  The warm-up started Monday with rain and high winds, which turned to snow overnight.  Awoke Tuesday to 4 inches of snow on the ground.

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Warmed up a bit on Wednesday, which turned the snow to slush, then re-froze.  The road in the Park where Abbie and I usually take our morning walk was a sea of frozen slush, so we had to find another route.

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Most of the snow was gone by Thursday, but then we had freezing rain, which made our alternate route too slippery to walk on.

The water in my barn finally thawed, and next week’s forecast is for above freezing temperatures several days in a row.  Almost halfway through January, and counting the days till Spring! 🙂


Tis the Season

img_3848Seems like Winter has set in for good this week.  It is cold now, and forecast to get much colder over the next few days.  Woke to almost and inch of snow on the ground on Monday morning, and ‘measurable’ snow is forecast for the weekend.

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Trying hard to get into the Christmas Spirit.  Managed to get some outside lights up before the weather got too cold, and have set up a small Christmas tree.  Just hope my cat will not molest it.  All those shiny ornaments are such a temptation!  I am hoping having it on a table will keep it out of harms way, but only time will tell!

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I am planning to visit my daughter and her family for Christmas, but only if the Weather Gods are kind!  Could not manage the five-hour drive in ice and snow.


A Welcome Break

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Just back from a trip to Canada to visit my daughter and her family.  The first time I have been able to get away in about 2 years, so it was a very welcome break.img_3838

We were blessed with lots of sunshine, and mild temperatures, and Lake Ontario, as always provided some wonderful photo ops.

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I am not about to let all this mild weather fool me!  I know that Winter is coming, and am trying to prepare for it as best I can.  On Tuesday, I brought home the first of two large round hay bales to help keep my horses happy once the pasture grass dies off.  If they don’t get enough ‘chew time’ they will take out their boredom on my barn and fences, so the round bales are a good investment!

These bales are large and extremely heavy.  The farmer I buy them from loads them onto the truck, but once home, it is up to me to unload them.  My husband figured out some time ago, the easiest way to do this is to simply reverse the truck a few feet and slam on the brakes.  If all goes well, the bale simply rolls off and stays right side up.  With luck, two bales will keep the horses happy until the pastures begin to green up in the Spring.

 


First Frosts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have finally had a couple of killing frosts, so I guess we are now officially into Indian Summer.

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Most of my flowers have succumbed to the cold nights, but my Geraniums are still holding their own.  In fact, this pink one on the back deck looks better now than it has all Summer!

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It was so dark and gloomy when we set off for our walk last Wednesday that I left the camera at home.  Regretted it when I saw the sky reflected in lake, but managed to get a couple of decent shots with my cellphone.

Glad we have finally moved off Daylight Saving Time, so it will get light earlier in the morning.  I know it means it will get dark earlier too, but I am an early riser, and hate having to wait until eight o’clock for it to get light!

The other downside is, it takes me a while to adjust, and I will feel jet-lagged and out of sorts for about a week. 😦


Brighter Days

img_3803_1Took advantage of a couple of bright, sunny days to cruise the back roads in my area to enjoy the lovely Autumn colors.

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It has turned wet and gloomy since then, so I am glad I made the most of those beautiful days.

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The forecast for this week is not too promising.  Not much sunshine on tap and some very chilly nights.  Time to think about ‘winterizing’ things in the garden and barn, and pack away the Summer clothes!


Touches of Color

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It has been unseasonably warm lately, so the trees have not changed much yet.  It will take some frosty nights to really make the colors pop. I am sure those will come soon enough!

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There are still a few brave wildflowers around, but they are few and far between.20161005_112957_003_resized_1

I am continuing my war with Russian Olives on the property.  This one put up quite a fight, and will have to be cut up before I can move it down to the brush pile!  


September 28

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Although it is now officially Autumn, the weather has been more Summer-like so far.

We have had enough rain to keep everything lush and green, with a few trees just showing a hint of color here and there.

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Lots of fungi around now. Not sure if it is due to the rain, or just the time of year.  My trusty guide-book tells me this Jack-o’-lantern is luminescent in the dark, but I have never ventured into the Park at night to check this out for myself!

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Of course, we know this can’t last, and cooler temperatures are moving in now, which is inspiring me to take on more outside chores.  Once more I am waging war on Russian Olives which keep threatening to overgrow the trails on my ‘Back Forty’.

Trimming them back, just seems to encourage them to grow more and I have found the most efficient way to deal with them is to pull them up by the roots.  Sounds like a big job, but with the help of a small logging chain and a four-wheel drive truck, they come out quite easily, and it is very satisfying!

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I have learned these are a non-native and invasive, so I don’t feel a bit guilty at trying to kill them off!

 


September Thoughts

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As chillier mornings chase away the Mosquitoes and Deerfly from the woods, Abbie and I have been taking some of our walks at the Nature Conservancy.

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Cup Flowers are beginning to bloom there, and wild grapes are ripening.  Looks like there will be a good crop this year.

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I have been driving by this pond all Summer, and haven’t once spotted Blue Heron there.  Wouldn’t you know I would spot one when I don’t have a long lens with me!


July 24

IMG_3583In spite of a long dry spell, my Daylilies did well this year.

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The drought seems to have broken now, with a few storms bringing some much needed rain. My lawn finally lookes like a lawn again, and is no longer crunchy underfoot.

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Lots of Butterfly Weed around too, which, according to my Field Guide will continue to bloom through September.


June 25

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Glanced out the front window the other day, and spotted a butterfly resting with wings open on my hammock.  Grabbed the camera and hurried out to see if I could get a shot of it, but of course it was gone!

Didn’t spot this cute little Tree Frog until I was on my way back in.  Tree Frogs are much easier subjects than Butterflies! 🙂

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It seems to be a good year for Wild Roses.  Too bad these delicate blooms are so short-lived.

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I read somewhere that Daisies are a sign of poor soil, so I am sorry to see so many of them in my pasture, but they are beautiful, just the same!

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At least the bees appreciate them!


Signs of Summer

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I was feeling a bit blue a couple of weeks ago, and decided one more trip to the nursery might lift my spirits.  Hard to feel sad among all the beautiful blooms.

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Spotted this Tree Frog on my window the other night.  A sure sign of Summer.  He will leave sticky footprints on the window, but I really don’t mind. 🙂

 

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Dame’s Rocket is making a fine showing in the woods and along the roadsides.  Our ever fickle weather has turned very hot today, with the promise of possible storms this afternoon.  A couple of days ago, I was running the furnace.  Looks like today we will be switching back to AC!  Gotta love Michigan! 🙂


Lilacs and Orioles

IMG_3514At the beginning of May, I came down with a miserable cold.  The wet, chilly weather was no help.  On May 15, I lay down for a nap and when I awoke, this was the scene that greeted me.  I snapped a couple of photos, and crawled back under the afghan in disgust!

Just when we were beginning give up hope, the weather did a sharp about-face, and we now seem to have jumped right from Winter into Summer.  Temperatures much above normal, and lots of sunshine.

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The scent of Lilac and Russian Olive blossoms fill the air, and early mornings are full of birdsong.

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The Orioles have been regular visitors to our deck, enjoying the Grape Jelly I put out for them.  Sometimes a pair of Purple Finches sneak in for a taste too.


Sweet May

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In spite of an unusually chilly, and very wet April, Wildflowers are beginning to appear in the woods.

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Bright yellow Marsh Marigolds are easy to spot, and are thriving in the very wet conditions.

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Trillium are a little harder to find, but are beginning to pop up here and there.

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Early mornings are full of birdsong now, and the Robins and Blackbirds have been joined by Orioles, Wrens and Swallows.  It looks like a pair of Swallows will be setting up house in our barn again this year, and they are always welcome.


New Life

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Between the wet and gloomy weather, and my husband’s declining health, I have not been able to get out with my camera lately.

Poor Hubby is still in hospital, following surgery for a broken hip, but at least the weather is turning around.  The sun finally made an appearance today, and the warm-up should continue for the rest of the week.

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Tender new leaves are appearing, along with Skunk Cabbage, and I can see hints of yellow buds on the Forsythia.

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My daughter and I found signs of Beaver activity in the State Park.  No idea where the lodge might be, but they have definitely been busy near the Lake.

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April Fool!

IMG_3420March has been teasing us with a warm sunny day now and again, changing back to cold and rainy for the most part, but today, Mother Nature is really playing a cruel April joke on us!  The snow is expected to continue all day and through the night, and temperatures will not go above freezing until Tuesday! 😦

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Last Tuesday was one of our rare, sunny days, and Abbie and I took our walk at the Nature Conservancy.  Heavy and frequent rains had filled the stream to overflowing, and Abbie could not resist a dip.  Wading through the black slime at the stream’s edge left her looking quite foxy, with her muddy black legs.

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The campgrounds in the Park opened today, and a couple of brave souls were actually there when we took our walk this morning.  We feel so fortunate to live so close to a State Park, that we can enjoy it without actually having to camp out! 🙂


Spring Pics

IMG_3373By this time of year, I am tired of posting Snow Pictures, so it was nice to be able to catch a few signs of Spring with my camera the other day.

The Aspen trees are sporting their fuzzy catkins, and some varieties of Maple are budding out nicely.IMG_3376

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The Peepers began singing last week, and grow louder as the weather warms up.  Looks like we are in for a cool down in a couple of days, but that is to be expected at this time of year.  At least all the snow is gone (for now) and things are beginning to green up.IMG_3379

Could not resist buying another African Violet the other day.  I thought these blooms were quite striking, and will add some cheer to the house, while we wait for the Spring flowers to bloom outdoors.