February 11, 2015

Winter Ramble

Over the weekend, I took a stroll around the yard, mud sucking at my boots. Above is just one of the stumps remaining from the tree doctoring / removal we had done last summer. The black areas are the rotting caverns, gnawed by insects, that would have brought this tree down on its own (and likely down on our house) sooner or later.
I love the pop of magenta, with a frosting of periwinkle, lent to the winter landscape by the thorny wild raspberries. What are these called? Stalks? Canes? They're definitely not dense enough to be considered bushes...
The litter of acorns and hickory nuts throughout the yard this year is like nothing I have ever seen. Everywhere underfoot are nuts, exterior casings, and shells. Masses of them. The multitudes of happy, fat squirrels feasting daily aren't making a dent.
I spied four praying mantis nurseries. That tumor-like shape surrounding the twig above is full of incubating mantises. (Here's a link to newly hatched praying mantises on that same tree 2 years ago.)
And, finally, no tour of the yard would be complete without sharing one of the ubiquitous mole hills.

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