Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In the Land of Snow and Ice

Hi dear friends,

Winter was slow in arriving this year and we spent many mild days working in our garden and admiring trees...

The sun shined her face on us a few days so far this January and when she pops out from behind the clouds, we all savor her warmth...especially Alvin.

We had such a blast of winter here this past week suddenly everyday life shifted to keeping all the animals warm, keeping the potted native plants protected, loading the woodstove, cooking food and drinking warm coffee while diving into our stacks of thoughtful reading materials. Winter is challenging for us in many ways, but we are grateful for the time this season gives us to reevaluate what's important, what's necessary and what truly brings us joy. We always rediscover, every single year, that getting outdoors no matter the weather restores our connectedness and satisfaction with life.

Before the deep cold set in, we hiked in the winter wonderland of Mohican State Park and State Forest. We saw one other person out this day - a fly fisher. If you seek long hikes, you must check this park out: you can hike 24 miles here!

The large size of this forest and the intactness of this ecosystem is palpable, which is why we return so frequently. We so love and value the restoration of land in much of the farmed Midwest, but sometimes our spirits just need the energy that comes from an older, richer, wiser forest.

Snow and then ice and then snow blanketed our homestead this week and plummeting temperatures after today will probably keep us white for quite some time.

The ice encapsulated every branch, every seed head, every bud, everything really and the tinkling of the ice against more ice made our outdoor explorations enchanted.

Ice is hard for a lot of birds that can't bang the ice away from their sought after food so our bird feeders empty quickly in this type of weather. We find it really cool to offer a food gift to other life that helps with winter survival. They are so much tougher than we humans!

The ice on the red Basswood buds really struck me. Basswood buds are so beautiful in their strong color and once painted in ice, I couldn't stop admiring. I really don't know how I even stopped looking at them, marveling at the protected leaves and the resiliency of a plant to survive weather like this.

More soon my friends; thanks for reading. We hope you are warm and well!

Resources for a winter day:

Mary Oliver - Blue Horses The world lost a beautiful voice this week. Mary Oliver is the first poet I've read where I felt like her words were direct from my heart. I know many of you feel the same. How lucky are we to have her words to guide our lives?

Wonder Wednesday Videos:

Winter Wonderland
Winter Oak ID
Bald Eagles!
Juniper Love
Vernal Pools - Jennifer's Heart

How to Overwinter Potted Native Plants (our new technique!)

Devotion by the Indigo Girls (quite possibly Jennifer's favorite Indigo Girls' song)

Arizona art exhibit you must see by the super talented Michelle Stitzlein!