A Year in the Yard: The Beginning

Greetings and welcome!

Today’s post opens the gate to a journey through the seasons, where I’ll weave the story of my yard and our local wild areas as they change throughout the year.

Winter can be the hardest time for many of us to connect outdoors. Nature’s canvas can seem bleak and barren while cold winds make us huddle inside, yet there is a subtle and continuous magic occurring that’s worth witnessing.

So grab a cuppa, and stroll along with me for a while…

Out & About

I find winter to be the time when the land bares her soul to us. The true shape of the trees and landscape are visible like at no other time of year.

DSCN6346

White Clay Creek State Park, with her dancing tree.

Old nests reveal themselves, and birds are easily seen flitting through the brush.

Winter nest and bird2

Old nest and a finch hiding among the branches.

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Pileated woodpecker’s handiwork

 

 

Pileated

Pileated woodpecker

Light touches the earth at an angle that casts a mysterious glow; golden rays are gently held within the grasp of coppery grasses.

Winter sunset silhouettes

Field at Middle Run

 Into the Woods Go I…

Winter Tree Guardians

The Standing People (trees) beckon me to stroll among them, their solid roots holding the land steady and offering safe space to slumbering creatures. Their branches alight with chittering birds and squirrels, offering shelter and food to those still active.

There is a sanctity as I move in their presence, and Istaircase fungi am drawn into silence. I lay my hand upon the peeling bark of a sycamore and take in the bright white of its trunk as it rises to meet the sky. My eyes are drawn back down to a staircase of bracket fungi, and I can just imagine the little people who find those steps convenient to reach the top of that hollowed stump.

Evergreens

Evergreens sweep the landscape with their boughs, reminding me that an eternal spring lives within and winter is but one season.

Home Sweet Home

My own yard is haunted by the ghosts of summer…dead bee balm, purple coneflower, Joe-pye weed, poke, milkweed, and blackberry.

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Winter Joe Pye

Joe pye weed against the house

Their brittle stems stand tall against the winter, filled with frost-kissed seeds and berries for wildlife that may yet need it. It might appear to be sloppy gardening, but there is purposeful and rich nourishment here, so I take the chance to be a good steward of the land I call home.

Praying mantis egg case 2

Signs of life dwell quietly among the branches…a praying mantis egg case holds the promise of future predators that will help maintain balance in the garden.

Winter is a treasure, like a gentle sigh offering brief respite before the next activity. The earth lies open and vulnerable in our hemisphere, biding her time in soothing rest until the increased light calls her to awaken once again. She only moves what is needed at this time, as her focus is on nourishing and replenishing her stores.

Let us tune into this cycle, acknowledging our own vulnerabilities and honoring our true essence. Let us nourish ourselves as we quietly tend our inner and outer gardens filled with dreams and hopes for the coming spring.

Until next time…

Greenly blessings,

Sue

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About earthgrl

Herbalist, Naturalist, and Reiki Master posts her observations, musings, and hard-earned wisdom about the natural world and how it speaks to our spirit and heals us, inside and out.
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