2017 Greetings

Happy New Year! Though today is gray and rainy, our new year started out as bright, sunny, and 49 degrees…not too shabby for January in Delaware!

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After a year off dealing with some health issues, I’m back in the swing of things and was ready to be out and about exploring the local wonders yesterday. A trip to my neighborhood park did not disappoint…deer sign, chickweed, warm sunshine, and a serenade by crows, chickadees, and cardinals.

One of my favorite trees is the Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), with its peeling bark that leaves white streaks, making it recognizable in any season and earning it the nickname of “Ghost Tree”. Sycamores like to stretch out their branches and are harbingers of nearby water. This beautiful specimen overlooks the White Clay Creek that runs through my neighborhood.

I also found some green herbaceous plants, which tells me that these are non-native species. We don’t have too many native plants that are green during the winter here. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) and stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) were enjoying the sunshine and growing in areas protected from the wind.

There were some interesting sculptures left by winds and storm from the past year as well…

As I neared the end of my walk, I found a bench to bask in the sun for a bit, when I heard a rhythmic knocking in a grove of trees behind me. I looked around, but couldn’t see the noisemaker from where I was sitting, so I got up and gingerly moved as quietly as I could until I spotted her.

female-downy-woodpecker

Downy woodpecker, female (Picoides pubescens)

 

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And somewhere nearby, her larger kin has been hard at work.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s hoping 2017 will be filled with bright and beautiful treasures to fill our hearts with joy!

Till next time,

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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