Beaver Dam

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Rohan looking for the beaver

This is a creek that eventually meets up with the Niagara River.  Last summer a beaver made this little area his home.  Every few days the kids would go down and check his progress on building his dam.  Yesterday we took our little nephew there as he wanted to check for the beaver and collect more of the chewed wood for his collection.

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pile of sticks that were once the beaver dam

The town got sight of the dam in the fall and came and removed the dam with a backhoe.  This is all that is left of the dam today.  The kids were very sad but understand the importance of keeping this creek flowing.

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It’s amazing to see how hard this little beaver worked even taking down quite large trees all along this area. These are things you can’t teach in a classroom and so valuable to share with the kids in my mind.

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He is missed but the kids will keep looking for signs of him throughout the next few months to see if he returns.

 

Sunflowers turned to seed

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We have bird feeders we use throughout the winter and fill them with sunflower seeds for the birds.  This year we planted a sunflower garden to grow our own seeds.

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The first picture is the patch 2 weeks ago in full bloom.  The other 2 pictures are when we planted the garden in June and 3 weeks after the first planting.

We shared this patch with our pumpkins.

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As you can see this worked very well.  The pumpkin picture is just one row and we have 8 rows with pumpkins.

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The beautiful sunflowers are now turning to seed so tonight we took the time to cut all of the heads off to use to feed the birds throughout the winter.  Some of the heads are loaded with seeds while others have already been worked on by the birds.

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In the end we have 2 very large bags filled with flower heads and seeds.

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We will hang these from trees throughout the winter for the birds to pick at.  They will also be used as a treat for the chickens.

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You can see how they enjoy picking at it once it’s hung in their run!

Winter winds down

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The winter is giving way to spring.  Slowly the snow melts and adds to the little streams which run to the creek.

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The creek is already bursting at the seams and taking over the lowlands of the woods.  Mud on the trails begins to peer through.

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Beautiful old farming equipment is exposed once more still holding onto the secret of how they ended up so far back in the woods and abandoned so many years ago.  These pieces are about 1/2 mile away in an area that is not cleared and is wooded.  I’ve often thought about pulling them out to display at the house but they are a piece of history, our property history, so I leave them to remain in their final resting place and enjoy my walks past them in all seasons.

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Is this the luck of the Irish on display for me today or rather just a gold mylar balloon that somehow passed through the taller trees and ended it’s flight on our trail?

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And on the way back to the house the ice pond is a gentle reminder that Old Man Winter has lost his battle with the newborn spring and is going down slowly.

Bird Wars…

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When you keep bird feeders around your yard, the birds let you know when they are empty.  This little cardinal was pecking at the window today letting me know it was time to refill.

As I went out to refill the feeder (it was very snowy and windy) he sat on a nearby tree branch watching.  He was very happy, as you can see by the picture, to swoop in and get his breakfast.

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Soon after, his breakfast was disturbed by a pesky bluebird who kept flying at him to chase him off.

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The cute little redhead would not give up and declared war on the bluebird.  He swooped at him over and over until the bluebird finally decided it was best to move on.

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And the bluebird and a few sparrows surrendered and decided to eat the seed from below the feeder that the feisty redhead dropped!

Ice Fog

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Ice Fog is minute ice crystals that form in the air in extremely cold temperatures.  This morning it was -9 F while driving to work and the beautiful ice fog was drifting down the river with the ice, moving along with the current.  This eventually will end up at Niagara Falls and tumble over the falls.

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This is very early in our area to see this as it’s usually around the first week of February this rolls in.  Regardless it is still such a beautiful sight to behold.

A fellow blogger, who has a wonderful blog hopping from Maine to Texas, recently posted pictures of the Sea Smoke in Maine.  Take the time to visit her page here:  Lulu’s Musings Sea Smoke.    Her pictures are stunning (and her blog is fun and full of beautiful pictures and ideas).  Sea smoke is a fog that is formed when very cold air moves over warmer water.

As the ice was moving this morning the ice fog was getting thicker and was so cool to watch drifting down current as it went.

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Mother Nature’s beauty at her best on a very cold morning with the beautiful sun highlighting every detail.

The Giving Tree

Beautiful Tree

Beautiful Tree

This beautiful tree was incorporated into our goat area.  It provides much needed shade in the summer.  But this tree is much more than just a shade provider.

I have enjoyed this tree since I was 6 years old.  It is a tree that boasts splendor by it’s size and beauty.  Until 8 years ago it was surrounded by brush and fields and growing up we made trails to it to climb and play under.

Under the tree

Under the tree

After clearing the area for our goats, this tree was even more spectacular.  It is a “show piece” on the property and the goats and chickens enjoy it’s shade and leaves while the kids enjoy the rope we have attached to it.  They can strengthen their muscles  climbing it or relax swinging from it.

Boys, Goats & Chickens

Boys, Goats & Chickens

This is our “Giving Tree”.

Another beautiful Fall walk

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It was just starting to get dark when I took the dogs for their walk tonight.  The trees are beautiful welcoming you into our woods.

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On the other side the horses are enjoying their last bit of pasture grass as it’s now starting to slow down on growth.

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This beautiful orange yellow tree greets you as you  enter the woods

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About 1/4 mile back you will cross the creek which is beginning to fill up now after being mainly dry for the past few months.  The bridge is covered in fallen leaves and makes a beautiful crunch sound while crossing

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And the opening to the hard woods is where you end up next about 1/2 mile further.  The smell in this area draws me in and the beauty of the leaves is stunning even at dusk.  You can see a newly fallen dead tree has now changed the look of the entrance since I walked last

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On another trail home this stark collection of birch trees watches you pass.  Their leaves are almost gone but even in the bareness, the white of their bark is something to behold

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And you have come full circle after 45 minutes where the horses didn’t notice you were gone

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But they will come to see you when you get close for a quick pat to their neck

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And a good scratch on the tree

This is how I find my inner peace 🙂

 

Tree Fort

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I think most country homes have some type of tree fort in their backyard.  The man of the house decided about 3 years ago we needed one also.   So he set off to build it.

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Phase 1 took not too long and was planned around a beautiful oak tree

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Phase 2 was a little tougher.  Attaching the slide was almost as hard as adding the roof.  The boys sure didn’t mind waiting

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Phase 3 adding windows and a railing went smoothly.  Even the goats joined in to check out the materials and a baby making sure it was low enough for him to see out of.  The railing is made from larger sticks we collected from our woods

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A dutch door was made and some furniture accents were added.  There is enough seating for 6 kids and the bench blocks the opening to the slide so all the little children who visit are safe

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The views out the window allow the kids to see all of the action

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Next season it will be stained to match the barn and woodshed.  For right now it is the perfect escape for the children and a great hang out area for their friends!!

 

Staycation Vacation

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The sun was setting over the campsite we built on our property next to our ice skating pond.  Sitting by the fire I was reminded again of the beauty of nature with this sight. 

This area used to be fields where the trees resided surrounded by brush.  Slowly we have cleared it out to build an area away from the main house to relax and enjoy friends and family but close enough to care for the animals. We have a tenting area and a pond for “frogging” in the summer and ice skating in the winter.  Our next project will be to build a small log cabin as a place to sleep rather than our tent.  We have our first woodburner still in the garage and will incorporate that into the cabin for warmth.

There was always a “low” spot in the trees that filled with water.  As kids my siblings and I would walk back through the wintery brush and ice skate on the frozen waters in that area with double edged ice skates.  It was not smooth, big or easy to skate on, but it was fun!  We cleared that area out a few years ago and built a large ice skating pond.  We hung colored Christmas lights on either end, built an ice shanty to warm up in, and have a burn barrel with a fire going to warm yourself during the cold winter days and nights when skating. With electricity back there the kids can even brew up a hot chocolate.

The horse pastures are near the area.  The horses love to be back there when we are and we enjoy seeing and hearing them during the night.  The coyotes howl off in the distance, owls hoot, and crickets play their music.  It’s one of the most relaxing areas on our property.  I picture my kids as teenagers hanging out back there with their friends, having a bonfire, skating, listening to their music, being silly and loud and feeling independent being away from mom and dad, but not too far.

It’s a “staycation” area giving us the feeling of a true vacation without having to worry about the care of the animals, watering of the gardens, and upkeep of the farm!! 

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