Bill and I went for a walk around the farm a little earlier than usual this morning because the wind is supposed to pick up later today. We could feel heat from the sun on our backs and it felt good.
As soon as we got out a bit into the front field, I turned around and snapped a picture of the snow on top of the mountains behind the house. We didn’t get more than a dusting in the valley. The higher altitudes got more snow because of the colder temps.
The pine trees in the front field that just a few months ago were nearly hidden by the tall grass are now very visible.
Most of the Eastern hemlocks in our woods are dead or dying. They are under attack from the woolly adelgid, an aphid-like insect introduced into this country from East Asia that feeds on the sap of the hemlocks. The insect has infested hemlocks on the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 10 years and in Shenandoah National Park since the late 1980s. In these areas as many as 80 percent of the hemlocks have died due to infestation.
Wingstem covered the fields with their yellow blossoms from late summer well into the fall. Now the dried stalks, reaching six feet into the air, are all that remain.
Time to head back where cutting and splitting firewood is on the agenda and, of course, football playoffs. Callie was not excited about going home because she hadn’t finished checking out all the field mouse and vole hiding places. As usual, she brought up the rear as we headed home.
An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
~ Henry David Thoreau