Reflections on the Winter

Winter is a quiet time at Windy Thistle. Everything is shut down. The gardens are brown and weedy looking since we leave the plants to provide winter habitat for insects and birds. It would be a sad thing but there is a certain beauty in the winter woods, looking out our back window.

The trees reflect on the surface of the pond, a chilly view but beautiful, too.

The forest around the house is quiet and still but it's deceptive, too. There is a lot of wild life out there. We see deer frequently and there is a plethora of bird life and small mammals. I'm sure there are bigger animals, too but they hide in plain sight.

Our woods above the pond.

I frequently am drawn to the window to watch this quiet and hidden world. I'm not tempted to go walk in the woods in this weather.

The view of the firepit with the pond beyond and the skyline of the southern woods.

I can see the southeastern part of the lower paddock that includes the barnyard and garden paddock with the beeyard behind the stack of hay bales and the chicken coop and pen. The lower part of the henhouse has plywood braced up against it to make a sheltered area under the coop for Henrietta who refuses to go into the coop. Sometimes a hen or two will spend the night with her under there, too. We spread hay regularily in the pen to keep down the muck and give the hens something to walk on.

The barnyard - bees, chickens and garden.

If you pull out the camera, you get a look at the lower southeast meadow beyond the barnyard. You can see what looks like a road in the background on the left but it's not, it is one of three creeks that lead into our main creek that is directly on the other side of the lower fence.

The wider view out my window to the skyline of our woods with the creek snaking through the woods below.

And remember what I said about the larger creatures being hidden right in plain sight? There is an owl in the picture below and he's a pretty good size bird. Can you spot him?

I love to watch the wildlife. The owls are specialists in deception and ambush. They'll take a hen if they can and are the major reason we have bird netting over the entire chicken pen. The owl in this photo is much larger than you might think.

Here he is, watching my chickens scratch around in their pen. He didn't stay long.

The only way I can see this bird is because I saw him fly in and take his perch and I just happened to be taking photos at the time. I've tried to get pics of them before but they are shy birds and wary.

I love Windy Thistle in all it's moods and the winter woods have a peaceful, calm, waiting mood to them. I'm waiting, too, for Spring and the renewed life, aren't you?

Just a reminder: We have a class coming up, Baking Bread, on the 25th. It's just the weather to be warm and cozy and learn how to bring that fresh bread goodness to your own home. Everyone will go home with Dinner Rolls and two kinds of Bread Loaves. Sign up today on our facebook page - class size is limited to four students for this hands on class in our frontier log cabin kitchen.

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