CLOSE TO THE LAND

living & eating close to the land

The Joys of Nature Return

Well … here we are … January 2015. Just realized that it’s been 6 months since I posted my last blog. Seems my work is taking all my time and creative energy of late. Guess one of my New Year’s resolutions should be to occasionally “unplug” and do something that feeds my spirit ~ I am going to seriously work towards that goal :)

Needless to say, we have been busy here on the farm over the past few months. Jimmy has been cutting some timber; I have been working with my partners to promote our region; and together we have been working on a few outside projects (like our garden, developing some new flower beds (one to attract Monarch butterflies), and gathering old farm and regional “artifacts” for our barn. Seems our to-do list stays long.

Sadly, while we were cutting timber this fall, we did not notice as much wildlife as we are used to seeing near the house. I think it’s understandable since the sounds of the big trucks and the equipment crank up before light and run all day. I feel pretty sure that most of the wildlife that take refuge near us relocated due to all the commotion.  Thankfully, over the last couple of weeks, the tide seems to be turning and our wild friends are returning. Once again there are familiar birds frequenting our feeders, deer roaming outside our bedroom window at first light, and several other wild species resuming their normal activities.

My view of wood ducks from the kitchen window ~

My view of wood ducks from the kitchen window ~

For the past week or so, Jimmy and his hunting buddies have been scouting for wild ducks. A couple of early mornings this week while they were hunting on the farm, I had a pond full of wild ducks in the backyard — mostly wood ducks but I have also had some ring necks and some mergansers. I think it’s kind of funny that while they go to great lengths to sneak up on ducks, there are some frolicking in plain view from my kitchen window :)

With the seemingly sudden return of wildlife to our yard, a big, fat fox squirrel has made his debute. I looked out my window a couple of days ago and saw the fattest squirrel that I had ever seen. He sat in a “budda-like” pose while feasting on the renderings from the large trees in the side yard. I watched him from my bedroom window as he, first, sated himself, and when he had his fill, he seemed to pose for my viewing pleasure. I got so many pictures of him that it’s hard to choose one to share ~

I loved watching this fox squirrel standing on his hind legs. It seemed like he wanted to give me plenty of time to get a good shot

I loved watching this fox squirrel standing on his hind legs. Seemed like he was giving me plenty of time to get a good shot.

My favorite backyard woodpecker has returned!

My favorite backyard woodpecker has returned!

In addition to cardinals, a variety of woodpeckers and a host of other small birds returning to our feeders, we also have a special guest. It is a beautiful white pigeon. I am not sure where she came from but she does not seem to be frightened of us as we move around to do our chores in the yard. In fact, instead of fleeing from us and the noises that we make, she seems to appear from nowhere every time we go outside.

She has come close to eating out of my hand and a few days ago she flew up on the roof of Jimmy’s truck and rode with him to the back yard. She seems so calm and curious. We are enjoying having her around.

Our new found friend

A new found friend

I have to admit that this recent “drought” in seeing wildlife has reminded me of my good fortune to live so close to nature. I have always loved all God’s creatures and the older I get, the more I realize what a gift it is to be able to observe and enjoy mother nature. Living close to the land and close to nature is one of my greatest joys.

As we move into a New Year, I wish for more chances to be outdoors and close to nature for all of us. Would also love to hear about any sightings that you have …

Here’s to a Happy 2015 filled with nature to you and yours,

Carolina Carol

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