Not even blogging can come before a nice visit by a good friend. When nature lovers get together the centerpiece of the visit is, of course, nature. And that was just the case yesterday when our good friend Beth stopped by. Here are some of the sightings we had at the nearby Arrowhead Marsh nature preserve:
Winter can be bleak or vibrant - depending on ones' perspective. It's a choice, really, and today we chose to seek vibrancy. The main thing is to get started. So the three of us bundled up and hoofed it over to Arrowhead Marsh to see what we could see (and hear and feel).
Native prairie grasses never fail to inspire. Even now, with most of the seed having dropped, the stems stand tall and firm against a slate-blue sky. A few short years ago this recovering agricultural field was a sea of giant ragweed. Now it is shelter and food for much wildlife and a haven for bad-economic-news refugees.
Beth and Steve admiring the seed structure of Indian Grass. Beth works for The Nature Conservancy and is responsible for fostering the ecological integrity of many wonderful nature preserves in Indiana lake country.
Jennifer and Beth exploring the wooded portion of Arrowhead Marsh. The woods here is quite pleasant and has a great diversity of tree species and a fairly intact shrub layer.
Beth and Jennifer find something interesting in the top of a tree...
...which turned out to be a large nest built mainly of sticks and twigs. These are typical of raptors but, in this case, it appeared to have been commandeered by a shelter-seeking fox squirrel. Our fingers are crossed that the former resident does not come back and evict...or worse!
Our minds cleared of media rubbish, our lungs filled with fresh air and our hearts swollen with appreciation for the wonders of our natural surroundings, we leave the wetland, woodland and prairie to the full-time residents.