Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year to everyone! Here's a rare mid-winter update on the happenings at the Beechwood Wetland. ("Winter" hardly seems the right term, as I wore a light jacket and no gloves this morning when I visited the site. Let's have some snow!!!)

Things seem to be carrying on here without me. All the colours are more subtle, and familiar things often seem to be a different shape or size due to the lack of leaves and flowers. I startled something small -- mouse? chipmunk? -- but didn't see any birds on the site. (I could hear a cardinal in the distance, and there was a BIG redtailed hawk a bit farther south.) At least I'm not worried about ants, mosquitoes or sunburn at this point.

There was a light skin of ice over part of the pond:

Isn't it funny how you can visit a place all summer and not know what's hidden in the leaves right above your head? This oriole's nest is perfectly obvious now:

There's been a lot of damage to the small trees by hungry critters. I think rabbits are the culprits:

I don't hold out any hope for the trees planted in the fall. Maybe the sumac on the right can recover?

Over by the pond there's something that looks more like beaver damage:

Of course no trip to Beechwood is complete without a big ol' patch of garlic mustard. Your days are numbered, buddy.