Midwinter Walk

Posted: December 27th, 2009 under Activities, Plantlife, Wildlife.
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We had clear dry weather today to get some work done, and no choir duties.   Our first chore was moving water iris taken from the lily pond (which had overgrown with them) out onto the land, to see if they’ll naturalize in some of the temporary pools.  We were successful with a few transplants a few years back.

floating-iris-pond063We loaded clumps of them into a garden cart and wheeled them out to the pond behind the #3 gabion.    Ideally, you push a clump into the mud:


But in the interest of not getting too wet too soon,  Richard tossed some clumps out into deeper water; you can see one such, bottom center:


I spent a lot of time with the lopping shears, trimming up trails (mostly the N/S trail on the east side of the creek woods, which was badly overgrown), but did sit down to rest from time to time.   At the north end, we were entertained by a very busy phoebe, who flitted up and down after the (surprisingly abundant) insects:


I wished I’d had the Bird One lens along, or at least the monopod, but I didn’t, so most of my phoebe pictures are a bit blurry.    There were a lot of birds at the north ford–song sparrows, cedar waxwings, cardinals, wrens, ruby-crowned kinglets, and–by sound–white-crowned sparrows and white-throated sparrows as well.

The upper part of the creek was quite clear, but the pictures I took of ripple-shadows on gravel don’t look good when downsized.   However, here’s a picture of the stretch just upstream from gravel ford:


While trimming up the trail where it passes from near Deer Ford into the creek woods proper,  I spotted this lovely foliate lichen:


It almost looks as if it’s one of those fringed sea creatures about to take off and slowly fly through the water.

On the edge of the Entrance Meadow, under a juniper, I found this fungus:


It looked more like a shelf fungus you might find on a tree, and it was hard to the touch like that, too.   While photographing this fungus, I heard a woodpecker nearby–a ladderback female working on a standing snag; I saw her go into and come out of a hole.  I hope that snag doesn’t fall, if that’s her nest-hole!

In our woods in winter, color overlaps from fall to spring–I forgot to take a picture of the roughleaf dogwood twigs and buds, which are now a deep maroon, but a few rich red leaves still cling to a few of the rusty blackhaw viburnums, and you can see the buds starting to swell at the end of the twigs there, too–deep purple:


I hope to get back out tomorrow, to do some more trail work before the next wet cold front.


  • Comment by Gunhilda — December 27, 2009 @ 10:15 pm


    Lovely lichen and fungus. The phoebe picture is clear enough to make the identification.

  • Comment by Adam baker — December 27, 2009 @ 11:09 pm


    Absolutely beautiful pictures, and gorgeous landscapes.

    Thank you very much for sharing them.

  • Comment by Martin LaBar — December 28, 2009 @ 8:51 am


    Beautiful, isn’t it? A different kind of choir.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 28, 2009 @ 11:55 pm


    Thanks, all. I didn’t make it back out today (one thing and another) and tomorrow’s supposed to be “winter mix” (which means it could be anything, but mostly unhealthy for the camera to be out in it.)

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