Yes, we’re almost into the throws of Winter, but for the past month it’s been difficult to tell from the beautiful weather we’ve been having. It’s been a little on the cold side (for us) the last couple of days, but for the last couple of weeks we’ve really had a wonderful fall. I wasn’t quite sure that would be the case after our very cold snap at the end of October and into November. I thought for sure we were in for a long, cold winter, but it has actually been very beautiful.
Perhaps it was that early cold spell we had, but we experienced some really pretty colors in the trees during the month of November. Now the colors here are nothing that even come close to the Northeast, but for around here it was a welcome change. It is more typical for our trees here to go from green to brown to bare in just a matter of a week or two so the colors really invited us to take a walk in our woods.
It was the end of November before we got a chance to stroll under the canopy and I do believe it was the first time we’ve been out there together as a family since last Spring. The woods aren’t a great place to venture into once the poison ivy and snakes come out so we always look forward to the winter months when we can better enjoy the other half of our little piece of heaven.
One thing was certainly different about our first Fall visit to the woods though. In years past we typically received quite a bit of rain and the creek would run making the sight even more breathtaking. Unfortunately we are still suffering drought and our creek had little more than a few puddles here and there. No rushing waterfalls or gurgling stream this year.
Even so, the woods are still a pretty magical place to visit. We do have a couple of paths that we cleared out a couple of years ago, but without regular maintenance nature tries to take over pretty quickly. I do hope some day to have the time (and equipment) needed to make really nice walking paths. When we do get the typical heavy Fall rains, a large portion of our woods does flood and those floods bring plenty of fallen trees and trash from upstream which can add more work to keeping a clear trail year-round.
The lack of rain aside, our walk in the woods was rewarding and reinvigorating after so many months spent working feverishly to get ready for the Kid-N-Ewe festival. When I was living in the city, I really didn’t like Fall and Winter all that much because the sparse landscaped trees just looked sad and lonely. Now that we have our own forest to explore during the cooler months, I have grown a new appreciation for the beauty of the season.
There really is quite a bit of life going on in the forest this time of year and most of it goes unnoticed during the Spring and Summer when the leaves mask and hide everything around them, including the sun and sky. During this time of year you can see where all the birds had been nesting and the plants on the forest floor reach for the light that has been shuddered the rest of the year. We don’t see a lot of wildlife in our woods, mostly I believe due to our big, loud dogs that probably scare most things worth seeing away. But in the damp soil many more footprints and tracks are visible with the aid of extra sunlight. It’s fun to see the tracks of raccoons and deer (and of course coyote and wild hogs). This lets us know that are woods are not void of wildlife as it may seem sometimes.
I’ll now share a few pictures from around our farm and woods so you too can experience, in part, what we’ve enjoyed so much this Fall.
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