November began with warm spring-like weather, but quickly changed to winter.
I found this Eastern Comma on November 2 – a beautiful warm day.
We had a chance to finish one last outside project before the snow arrived. We cut and treated a big sumac clone that’s been taking over the center of the Big View Prairie. Here’s the view across the prairie showing the tops of the sumac bushes with their clusters of bright red berries.
And here’s the view without the sumac – some of the cut plants still in piles. Mike will pick up the piles the next time he drives the tractor this way.
Mike finishing up cutting a patch of sumac.
Now we can see all the way from the top of the prairie remnant, down through the savanna, across the wetland and the creek, and down the valley.
Right after that project was finished, the snow arrived.
The view from our birdwatching bench in the glen is still beautiful, but there aren’t many birds, and they don’t seem to want to bathe in the stream.
Twisted Oak Savanna
Center Valley from the top of the Knife Edge Point
Now that there’s less color in the landscape and fewer leaves on the trees, we see more of the sky.
Afternoon sun from East Center Valley
One of our favorite parts of our afternoon walk is watching the crows fly across the Narrows Ridge toward their night roosting spot. They don’t do it in the summer – maybe they’re busy with nests and families – but from fall until spring we see huge rivers of crows flying north every afternoon, and south again in the early morning. They make stops along the way, gathering in giant groups in fields and the tops of trees. Yesterday one group stopped in the Narrows Prairie and the surrounding trees just as we were taking our walk.
Mike took video of the scene. There’s no sound on this one…unfortunately it didn’t come out well in the recording.
Crows heading north
More crows over the Knife Edge Prairie.
Hidden Oaks Point
This is a view we don’t see until the leaves are off the trees – the valley north of the Narrows Ridge.
We have one line of planted Red Pines behind where the old farmhouse used to be. The sunrise shines through them every morning.
Sun in the pines
A sparkly morning
This is Fan-shaped Jelly Fungus. It grows on one of the cut logs that make our steps up the hill behind the house. It dries up when it doesn’t get any moisture, but revives when there’s rain or wet snow. It’s fun to see something yellow growing even in this wintry weather.
Beaver dam and pond in Willow Bend
Beaver lake next to the driveway at sunset. The slight ripple at the far end, next to the dam, shows there’s something swimming under the water – could be a fish or a beaver.
A few more sky photos…
Burr Oaks and prairie grass
The same sunset about 10 minutes later and closer to the wetland