I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
John Burroughs

Saturday, January 28, 2023

January eh.....

January  25, 2023

This un-January-like January, drags on. The temperature hanging too close to the freezing mark for my liking. Never much above and never much below. The older folks around say they have never experienced as mild a January as this, in their lives. There has not been a need to don the warm woollies for hiking, a light quilted jacket being sufficient. The gray days march on, interspersed once and a while with a glimmer of sun, usually too late in the day to have much effect on the solar panels. We did have two glorious, full sun days, punctuating the sunless ones.

Almost every day, there has been a new skiff of snow, sometimes just a dusting, sometimes enough to shovel. The dribs and drabs of snow are slowly adding up, and cushioning our snowshoe trails, making for pleasant, quiet walking, just a soft 'crump' with each step. There has been little to no wind, so the snow is also sticking prettily on all the boughs and branches, outlining them in white.

The fresh snow dusts in any animal tracks that have been made overnight, muffling them and making it difficult to discern who made what, although this rabbit track is fresh and easy to see, its big feet spread out into snowshoes.

This is a shot of a grouse's overnight accommodation. You can see where it plummeted into the fluffy snow, spent the night in it's snow cave, then wandered out come morning, leaving a little deposit behind.

Our resident Marten has been all over, sticking it's inquisitive nose into every tangle of brush it comes across. The resident fox scouts around the yard and buildings at night, here and there it's tracks come and go from a hole it has dug in the snow,
having pounced and dug after some unfortunate critter. The upheaval it has made, mars the smooth expanse of snow stretching across our clearing.  

Every morning, the 4 to 6 Blue Jays are waiting for their ration, big puffy gray-blue lumps, sitting up in the branches of the crab apple tree by the tray feeder. Apparently we have traded the 18 to 20 jays we've had in previous years, for a surfeit of Hairy Woodpeckers. There are at least 4 hanging around, one or two visible at the feeders whenever I look out. They take turns, with some noisy altercations, on the hanging peanut feeder, which the Chickadees are also enjoying, as they pick up the bits the woodpeckers dislodge onto the snow beneath. A female Pileated woodpecker has been on the tray feeder a few times, and there are always fresh holes drilled into the standing dead beech trees in the bush. Those dead trees would also explain the increased number of Hairys this year.

The overwintering pepper plant has put out another fruit, and a couple more tiny ones are forming.

The one amaryllis bulb I potted up and brought in before Christmas, has bloomed, a cheerful spot of colour.

the last of a clump of 3 blooms
I'm working through processing my beautiful pie pumpkins into two cup portions, and recently re-stocked the pie shell supply for the freezer. (Love Aunt Molly's rolling pin.)

So, January plods on, February being the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. I live in hope that we will still get some lovely cold winter weather. There is a snow storm on the radar for overnight into tomorrow morning, so this may not get posted for a bit, depending on road conditions after the storm, for our trip to the library!

                         Addendum: Morning, January 26. Yeah!



  1. I love the animal track pictures! You, in the east, have more sustained snow than we have in the southwest. But, yes, it has been an incredibly mild winter thus far. - Jenn

    1. We have high snowbanks now! and the forecast says cold is coming.

  2. It always amazes me just how many animal tracks we're able to see in the winter time. I mean, there must be just as many animals around in the summer, but we have no way of tracking their lives as we do in winter. I freeze my pumpkin puree in 2 cup measurements, too. Seems just the right size, doesn't it? Which reminds me, my daughter would be delighted with a treat of pumpkin pie as it's her favorite. Great to hear you got some nice snow the morning of the 26th. Yay for real winter time! (Even though it's still a very warm winter.)

  3. Darn. My comment above (Anonymous) doesn't list me as Mama Pea which it should. Ah, the mysteries of Blogger.

    1. I was pretty sure it was you, and I have just spent a good bit of time getting my own comments to not be anonymous! The idiosyncrasies of Blogger!
      It has been a strange January, but cold is in the forecast, and thankfully there is a good insulating blanket of snow now.

  4. I'm so amazed at your pepper plant! Mine put out some leaves, but hasn't done much more (thankfully, I suppose). And your amaryllis is lovely. I somehow managed to kill mine.

    1. The amaryllis bulbs spent last summer out growing in the garden, and I expected them to get fatter and sassier, but strangely, they all seem to have shrunk in size. I've had the bulbs for years, and they've always been big and fat and produce a minimum of two stalks of blooms, but not so with that one. The others are still hibernating. The pepper is in a S facing window.