St Croix River Road Ramblings

Welcome to River Road Ramblings.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

With one of the mildest falls I can remember underway, I took a Kodak hike through the 40 acres to see what was out and about.  The pond did freeze over a few weeks ago, but melted off again and the small snows have each melted within a few days and left the ground bare again.  

However most everything is brown and bare.  The mild weather has been accompanied by clouds and drizzle, so things look dull, and I thought a search for some remaining green from the summer was in order.    

The spruce tree stays green all winter and helps keep things interesting.  The grass still has a greenish tint

The mower has been parked since October as I don't do late mowings preferring the unshorn look for my lawn and my person

The fields and grass are brown.  The grassy area between fields and below the hill with the junipers is a small low wet area that I would like to scrape out and restore an old beaver dam to get a 20 foot in diameter pond.  A little dry-run creek runs through and continues to the big pond 200 yards to the left. 

Open again after an earlier freeze around Thanksgiving 

The turtle raft floats around the pond all summer and provides a spa for turtles working on their tans.  They are probably hibernating in the mud below, occasionally looking up to see if maybe it is time to bloom again

A little green left in the grass along the pond.  Last year the deer went along the edge and pawed through the snow to find these green clumps for some salad in their lunch

Duckweed and or algae hangs on in spots still chorophylled and surviving. 

I can never resist trying a reflection shot.  

The junipers get trimmed in hard winters as the deer look for something to eat.  Must be the last few winters were mild

A greenish reminder of a deer having strolled by

Running water provides a little warmer microclimate where some plants remain green.  At the spring on the lake, water cress stays green all winter. 

The next few shots show some weeds that resist turning brown.  Plantain, thistle, dandelion, mullein and others seem to have their own antifreeze. 

A muskrat house in the swamp along Evergreen Av on the east edge of our 40 acres.  The wet summer and fall kept water standing in the cattails and a muskrat decided it was wet enough to try for a home.  I could keep the water up about a foot more than it normally stays now, I would have a plethora of muskrats there like it was when we were kids and before the swamp was somewhat drained. 

A squash left behind seems to be getting eaten -- deer like them and mice and even birds will try them.  The apples have froze and thawed so many times this fall, they are all rotten and not attractive to deer nor birds.