Journal for January 6, 2017

It was -21F this morning when we took our walk.  But with no wind, and a clear sky.   November was warmer and sunnier than usual, but winter really started in December, bringing snow and some very cold temperatures.

Here are some winter scenes from the prairies.

First snow in Indian Grass Savanna


Buffalo Ridge Prairie


Center Valley looking south down the driveway


December 28th was a warm day – we sat on the bench on the Knife Edge Point and enjoyed the view of the valley.


Sumac Prairie – looking more open every year


This was an exciting trail camera photo to get.  It’s a Golden Eagle – probably flying away from a deer carcass that was just over the ridge to the right.


Sharp-shinned Hawk that was hunting near our feeders


The beavers have built a lodge in a lake they made in the creek.  There are many dams along the creek, but this is the first lodge we’ve seen here.


Buffalo Ridge Prairie on December 21 – shortest day of the year.  We always look forward to the longer – and brighter – days of January.


For about a week we saw large groups of crows – 100 or so at a time – in the trees on top of the eastern ridge above Center Valley.  I think they were feeding in the cornfield just over the top of the ridge – it hasn’t been harvested, so there’s probably plenty to eat.


We’ve been walking on top – through the snow – more this year.  It’s good exercise, and we enjoy views of the prairies in the winter weather.  The afternoons are so short that the sun is still high when we leave, but often sets before we get back. This was our walk on the last day of the old year – December 31, 2016.

Buffalo Ridge Prairie


Narrows Prairie


Hidden Oaks Savanna


Hidden Oaks Bench


Sunset from the Knife Edge Point


Here are a few scenes from the new year.

Cabin Road


Narrows Prairie


Indian Grass Hill – the hillside behind the house that we worked on clearing last fall.  The line where we stopped clearing – at the right side of the photo – is very distinct.