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Blue Snow Morning

A fast-moving snowstorm passed through last night, leaving a thick coating of snow that sparkled with a variety of bluish tints in the early morning shadows.

Beaver Wetlands

Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary in Princeton, MA is home to an eighty-five acre beaver wetland–one of the largest in Massachusetts. A sign along the trails reminds visitors that:

• Beavers are a keystone species, providing habitat for many other animals and plants.

• Beaver wetlands are highly advantageous to wildlife, providing wetlands in various stages from open water to wet meadows.

•These wetlands provide habitat for moose, great blue heron, wood duck, dragonflies, amphibians and aquatic plants.

One of several beaver lodges partially covered with snow.
Last Summer, this beaver could be seen munching on plants most evenings.
Boardwalk at the edge of the wetlands with the snow just melting.
The long expanse of reeds. Benches give visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the landscape.
A wood duck box. I was fortunate to view this shy species of duck last summer.
The wind-blown reeds close-up.
A Great Blue Heron visits the main pond most Summer afternoons.

Winter Garden

The Winter garden displays the essential structures or “bare bones” of the landscape. For a photographer, the ability to see the interplay of cast shadows is a treat. The clear animal footprints add a sprightly decoration to the scene.

Tomato supports overlooking the herb and vegetable beds.
A bench to rest on between the morning glories and cucumber bed.
The sturdy butterfly bush still holding on to some of its leaves.
Stone wall with hydrangea in the distance.
Squirrel party!
Leaves on their way to becoming next year’s mulch.
Mainly oak leaves here, which take a bit longer to decompose.
The Zen garden was formerly a spot for outdoor grilling in the 1950s.
This bench overlooking the Zen garden was fashioned from recycled stair steps.
Stones gathered from the Rhode Island beaches.
The laurel trees are popular with birds, squirrels and rabbits.
Little creatures find the amaranth left in the circle enticing.

Winter Wolf Tree

This singular tree overlooking the wetlands at Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary in Princeton, MA is delightful in any season, but especially distinctive in Winter, when the details of its shape and the complex structure of its branches are on full display. I’m pleased that this photo was chosen as the current cover photo for Wachusett Meadow Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/MassAudubonWachusettMeadow/

An Old-Fashioned New England Christmas

Old Sturbridge Village, the largest living museum in New England, recreates life in rural New England during the early 1800s. A recent visit during the Christmas season featured wagon rides, demonstrations of period arts and crafts, and a chance to experience what life in a simpler time might be like.

Hard-working horses were the main means of transportation.
The lamplighter at his nightly job.
Chestnuts roasting on a open fire.
Candles in the windows and evergreens brighten up the season.
Muddy roads!
Victorian Singers
The Cobbler’s Shop
The Potter’s Kiln
Potters at work.
Just for fun– Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Present.
The interior of a well-to-do home.
Windows needed heavy curtains to keep the cold out.
Oxen were vital for working the rugged New England landscape.
Visitors gathered in the church to hear songs and stories of the season.
https://www.osv.org/

Getting An Early Start on a New England Garden

This week I’ve put recycled plastic, milk cartons and egg containers to good use as seedling containers. This variety of flowers, vegetables and herb seedlings will be planted outdoors as soon as the weather co-operates!

Turtle Time

Painted Turtles, the most widespread turtle of North America, bask in the warm Spring Sun at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Pond.

Daylight Savings

There are many early indicators of a seasonal shift from Winter to Spring at Wachusett Meadow Farm in New England — an increase in snowshoe travel, strong shadows and patterns, running streams, melting snow patches on stone walls, diminishing icicles, sheep wool thick enough for shearing and diverse creatures sunbathing and feeding.

The Lowering Sky

The clouds accumulating before last week’s Winter storm felt ominous, yet were mesmerizing. In relationship to the landscape, they provided an experience of dramatic movement during a shift in atmospheric pressure.

Furry Foodie

This red squirrel took great care to find, examine, select and enjoy only the choicest of black sunflower seeds from the treasure trove beneath the bird feeder.

February Arrival

In Massachusetts, the return of the red-winged blackbird is a welcome sign of Spring. Luckily, this one doesn’t seem to mind the snow.

The Eyes Have It

The Sun was perfect for capturing “eye light” in animals and birds of different sizes. A close inspection of the squirrels’ eyes reveal barns and landscapes of the Audubon. The eyes of the titmouse and the northern cardinal are harder to decode, but they sparkle charmingly, anyway.

Scrumptious Sunflower Seeds

On a chilly New England afternoon, the Northern Cardinal and the American Tree Sparrow shared a feast at the Wachusett Meadow Audubon in Massachusetts. Neither bird paid attention to me.

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