Journal for February 5, 2011

It’s still very wintry these days.  We’ve gotten more snow, a few inches at a time, every few days.  It adds up to quite a lot on the ground.  I walked up the hill to Indian Grass Prairie, and even with snowshoes on, my feet sank 10 or 12 inches into the snow.

The animals appreciate our plowed driveway – it’s much easier to walk there than in the woods.  We see lots of tracks.

When they get off the driveway, the snow gets pretty deep.

This is a hole that used to belong to the woodchucks.  There’s a well used trail leading out of it, around the side of the house, to the space under the birdfeeders.  I think it must be being used by rabbits.  I see them there every night, polishing off the fallen seeds that the birds missed.

Buffalo Ridge Prairie in the snow

On south-facing slopes there are places where the snow is getting thin enough to let the grasses emerge.

I can even find melting snow – in sunny spots, on the warmer days.

The creek still has huge banks of snow.  It’s in the shadow of a hill, so it gets almost no sunlight when the sun is this low in the sky.

The last few days have been windy, so snow has drifted in to the edges of the driveway.  The snow is very fine and tightly packed.

The wind has also been making interesting patterns on the snowy hillsides.  Some areas are smooth and icy…

Others have wave patterns like wind blown sand.

Last night we noticed that the icy patches reflect the colors of the sky.

This morning we woke to a misty, warmer day.  The mist was so thick that the hills were completely invisible.

Visibility wasn’t very good along the road either – I’m glad we didn’t have to go anywhere.

The wetland in the mist

I walked up the hill behind the house to Indian Grass Prairie.  This is looking west, toward Western Prairie, but I couldn’t see it at all.

There was hoarfrost on all the plants and leaves and branches.

Birch with frost

Oak leaves with frost