by Sue Ann Kendall
I’d planned a fun nature walk with my family for Christmas, but thanks to COVID, I ended up on a solo walk. I explored a part of the woods that’s near the house, but not often visited. It was warm and sunny, but still a winter wonderland to me. I thought maybe some of my Master Naturalist friends would enjoy a walk along with me.
The green you see is a mix of rye grass and chickweed.
I went over to the tank/pond on the other side of the woods from the one behind our house. It’s the most attractive one and is always full of life.
It’s often hard to get to from our place, because there’s a fence marking a property line that ends in a place that stays damp for a long time after it floods. But, the recent tree-killing knocked it down in a spot, so I could explore the pond while it’s full.
This pond has lots of aquatic plants in it. Some are blooming. I forget what they are, but it’s pretty.
It always smells nice and earthy around the pond when it’s wet. Admittedly, some parts smell more cattle-y. It smelled fresh today.
The highlight of my little walk was checking out where the water comes into the pond, which I’d never seen from this side while the stream was flowing.
The stream had dozens of minnows in it. It was fun to watch them dart around. In the photo you see their shadows better than them! I also figured out that the stream comes out of a spring at the base of our pond. It doesn’t seem to drain our pond, or if it does, it’s slow.
I felt like an explorer in my own back yard. I found a freshly dug hole where some animal lives.
And I encountered an ant swarm on a log. Probably fire ants but still cool to watch. I didn’t stick my fingers in there to check.
It is always refreshing to hang out in nature, no matter what time of year. It’s healing and reminds you of the big picture. None of us is alone. Please enjoy more images of our small, green wonderland.