I think it’s time I tell you, Dear Reader, that I hate winter! I try hard not to complain about weather too much, because generally I love that there is something neat that each season brings to Marsh Farm. However, the really cold part of winter that we are now experiencing is the one type of weather that makes me chuck this life rule out the window and begin whining like a small child who is tired and wants a lollipop.
So with that in my mind and the chill in my bones, I did want to spend some time trying to think of the beauty of winter and all that it means for our little ecosystem here at Marsh Farm. While today is bitterly cold, I think the week before last was probably a picture perfect winter week. It snowed a few times and stayed in a tolerable winter temperature. It was during the Sunday/ Monday snowstorm that I decided to head out and through the fields and see what Winter was bringing.
First, I headed to the veggie garden. This time of year makes me dream of spring and summer. I took a moment to imagine the veggies, herbs and flowers that hopefully in a few months will be flourishing here. Think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts.
Just behind the veggie garden are four giant pine trees. They are the four biggest trees on our properties, and I love them so. They stand strong and are what I look to, to tell me how the wind blows. They are also one of my favorite places to watch sunsets from and I dream of a sunset shade garden here one day. For Winter they are a beautiful place for snow to gather and birds to find shelter.
As I headed out to see what the “Back 40” looked like, I noticed some foot prints in the snow. I followed them for awhile, and loved thinking about the secret life of the fields. I do suspect these are the footprints of my neighbors cat that roam our land.
I swung by the dead tree to see what was going on. This is an old locust tree that has been dead since we moved in. It is not in danger of hurting anything, so we have left it because it is such great habitat for cavity nesting birds like bluebirds. I also think it looks so neat looming out over the fields. As I stood admiring it, I noticed lots of holes and imagined lots of little critters curled up in that tree.
Turning from the tree I was struck by the beauty of the snow on the wetlands and the plants sticking up. I just had to take a moment to appreciate the wide open space that living here at Marsh Farm gives us. I also noticed that we have still have so much water hanging out in the wetlands. I keep hoping that some spring day I’ll hear spring peepers out there.
As I turned to head back up to the house I noticed a great tree monster I had never noticed before. If you don’t know about tree monster, I’ll be sure to do a post on them soon, but in the meantime just use your imagination.
As I stood there taking in this monster, I noticed some movement. There above my head was a very busy bird. With the lighting of the day I couldn’t take a guess at what kind of bird. I decided to take a moment and just observe. Standing still and quiet, I started to notice more birds around me. As they started to tolerate me being there the bushes and trees around me came to life. It was definitely a moment I enjoyed being out on this cold day. It is so wonderful to stop and enjoy the life of Marsh Farm.
Finally chilled enough, I headed up to the house but had to pause in the pond garden. We do not cut most of our plants down until spring. Leaving them up gives seeds to birds and habitat to insects that over winter in this detritus (also I love the word detritus). As a bonus I think these winter stalks give the garden great texture and snow a place to congregate. I think it’s really beautiful and every winter I thank myself for not cutting those down. The tickseed especially looked like a poofy snowball to me. The pond itself is also a winter interest. We leave the pump going as long as it is still pumping water. It provides great garden interest and sounds all year long.
Finally I stopped by and just longing looked at the outdoor shower. I closed my eyes to day dream of warm days and the luxury of outdoor showers. Just a few short months….right?
So that is how I decided to spent these Winter days. I’m trying so hard to find the beauty in Winter and I hope that maybe by sharing it with you this may even become habit.