It’s been a cold and snowy winter so far.
Many of the days have had cloudy skies, so it’s nice when the skies clear and we can see the sun.
And sometimes the moon.
We have a large flock of overwintering Mourning Doves – many more than we see in the summer. They never stray very far from the birdfeeders – sometimes they’re in the tree next to the feeders…
…sometimes on the tops of the solar panels.
This Red Squirrel has figured out how to get past all my deterrents and visits the feeders every few days.
Shrikes visit the feeders too – hunting for unwary birds.
We participated in the annual Golden Eagle Count organized and sponsored by the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN. Our 17th year doing the count. We saw 3 adult Golden Eagles – one on one of our prairie points – Sumac Corner Prairie.
The surface of the snow is full of stories – told by the patterns made by birds and animals. It’s fun to try to figure them out.
Crows, I think – both the wings and the footprints
Vole tunnels – probably made by Meadow Voles
I did one prairie planting this winter – on Pine Point – where Erik from Kule Region Forestry ground up the last of the big honeysuckle thicket. It was a small planting – only about 2 acres – so I planted it all in one long morning.
Looking east across more of the newly planted Pine Point
This is looking up from Pine Point Prairie into Big View Savanna and Prairie on the bluff above.
From the western end of the planting there’s a long view down the valley.
We do most of our winter walks on the driveway, especially when there’s deep snow. Mike has been widening his plowing to keep the snow from drifting in. Right now the driveway looks like a highway – great for easy walking.
Sometimes I trek up the hill to check on the upper prairies.
This was on a walk to the Knife Edge Prairie – through the woods where there are animal highways through the snow.
This is the snow underneath a large Black Walnut tree. Squirrels – and maybe other animals – have been searching for walnuts. I found dozens of holes in the snow with walnut hulls scattered around them.
The Knife Edge Point
Center Valley – the view from the Knife Edge Point
Back through the woods on our snowy trail
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a link to our annual ‘Seasons’ video.
Here are a few more current photos….
Mist rises from the creek on cold mornings.
Moon setting just at sunrise