Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Early December

The perennial strips, frost sparkling in early morning sun.

December has crept in with a mildness that causes us to look at the calendar page in disbellief.
There are mornings with frost or mist at dawn, but as the sun rises low in the sky and climbs above Big Creek, the air warms.
We allow the wood fire to ebb into gentle embers.
The back door stands open during mid-day.
Such weather can't be expected to continue, so I have indulged in a good deal of outdoor time, inventing excuses to leave housework and wander, usually with a train of kittens following.

Bird's nest in the branches of the old apple tree.

I wish I knew who resided here during the summer.
This tree was favored by robins and mockingbirds.

I scattered seeds from the lavender poppies in the small perennial strip I created in the spring.
A few have popped up among the seemingly endless weeds which encroach.
The lower perennial strip near the drive is covered in fallen leaves.
There should be poppy seeds germinating there where poppies have bloomed for two seasons.

Self seeded morning glory climbed the trunk of this elderberry and has left seedpods to asure that we never go short of these determined invaders.

Morning--just as the sun breaks through.

Several of the nandina shrubs have a branch or two of scarlet leaves among the usual green.

A zoom shot from the porch--there were two bluejays in the goat willow.

Willlis--lolling in the sun.

J. called me to the window to identify these birds perched on the wire near the goat willow.
While the zoom shot is a bit fuzzy, it is clear that they are eastern meadowlarks--a species I didn't expect to see at this time of year.

Sun doesn't strike the herb garden til later in the day.
Sage is rimmed with frost.

J. took advantage of good weather to move his sawmill nearer the barn.
He has been sawing out boards for a neighbor.

In spite of the mild days, night comes early.
With the setting sun a chill creeps in
and the house with its fireplace beckons.


  1. My guess would have been meadowlarks also. Winter has not really set in with yet. Temps are still mostly in the 60's. Just got back from our two weeks in Kauai so I have done little commenting but lots of reading of blogs. Sounds like you're having a slow start to winter too.

  2. What a wonderful visit to your country home and property this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great photos of a peaceful life. I love your barn and that's a neat photo of J. using his saw mill. It's always a treat visiting here as you are an inspiration to me.

    Happy holidays ~ FlowerLady

  3. Thankyou for a lovely post, I don't always comment but always read. Keep them coming.

  4. I wish I could say it was warm here, but there is snow on Black Mountain and a heavy frost this morning. We have had to put the central heating on for a while each day, and the Hergom on in the kitchen. Overnight, with Theo being ill, we leave an oil radiator on low.

    I am glad you have been able to potter around outside. My garden is so sodden I can get nothing done, but I can at least admire the few shrubs I have planted over the years, and the smaller ones - which had been bought with the intention of travelling to our new home with us (3 yrs back now) - are settling in well in their part of the herbaceous border.

    I think Keith would be very envious of J's saw mill . . .

  5. Beautiful photos, MM. Its very warm here also, but it is supposed to get to the high 20's by Sunday, cold artic air coming down.
    Yes, those are Meadowlarks. We have lots of them here during the summer, but I have never seen them in the winter. The weather is funny so we may be seeing birds you usually don't see in the wintertime.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.

  6. Once again, a lovely post. My favorite picture is of the meadowlarks and my favorite sentence is "We allow the wood fire to ebb into gentle embers."

  7. I love the image of you with a train of kittens behind you. Lovely photos and I'm very envious of your balmy weather. It's freezing here! I love your little birds but they're certainly not ones we get here so no help from me I'm afraid.

  8. lovely photos as always. I love to see where you live, what is growing and what the weather is doing.
    I did smile at J sawing the planks, it reminded me of John Walton. My whole family loved that series.