Thursday, November 24, 2011

Autumn lingers

Watching the news makes one realize how winter has unofficially arrived in many parts of Canada with snowy blustery days and even major snowstorms. The closest we’ve come is one night of freezing rain which coated everything but luckily the ice melted by noon the next day. Now the warmer weather has returned and with it fog follows the cooler nights. In the morning the ground is covered in frost before the sun melts it. I love how the grasses and fallen leaves are outlined in ice crystals.
This morning, the sun was shining on one side of the yard and there I found a Periwinkle flower.
Blue Bell still blooming.

White fluffy Milkweed seeds were caught in groundcover.
By contrast, in the shaded parts of the yard, the green foliage, grasses and fallen leaves were covered in a frosty coating; each leaf veins and hairs outlined in rime creating exquisite patterns.

When the leaves are down it’s a good time to examine trees and shrubs for nests and cavities which are so well camouflaged in the summer. There are discoveries to be made such as the now easily seen pendulous Baltimore Oriole nests hanging towards the end of sturdy twigs; I found 3 of these marvels in the yard.  
Baltimore Oriole nest in Birch

 I love birch trees, the tiny twigs and seeds creating stark shadows on the white bark.

Even the weedy brown Mulleins stalks stand tall looking a bit like skinny Saguaro cacti. The birds love to perch on these vantage points in the summer, to catch passing insects on the fly. Now they serve to remind me of those warmer days. I will clean the yard up in the spring but for now I leave all undisturbed, places for winter species to hide and feed during the harsh winter months.
Mullein stalks

1 comment:

  1. I love the leaves!! You are right that the Mullein Stalks look like Saguaros!

    Our snow is almost gone and the sun is shining brightly. It is almost time to go for a walk and harvest the brussel sprouts!