I counted. It's 105 steps from our front door to the spot where I took the four season photos that are on the top of this blog page. (And actually, I don't have to walk outside at all to see the beauty there, I can look out our front windows!)
What a blessing it is to have a beaver swamp so close! Close-up is how I usually try to show you what I see there, too-- zooming my camera lens in on the ducks, bald eagles, and herons. Lately, I've been thinking I should also include the 'big picture'!
Yesterday was a gorgeous day. Sunny and warm... there was not even any ice left on the swamp after a couple of above freezing days. However, the day length is getting pretty short and by quarter of four, the sun was already low in the sky.
I walked those 105 steps and stood quietly to enjoy the last sunlight of the day hitting the tops of the mountain.
It was so calm, the reflections in the water were almost perfect. I'd like to say it was peaceful, and for the most part it was, except for the occasional car going by on the road. Then-- a different sound! "hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo" Deep, and fairly loud. A Great Horned Owl!
A neat thing about the mountain behind the swamp is that it makes kind of a curve, forming a bowl-shape that directs sounds toward us. (Peepers in the spring are almost unbelievably noisy for that reason!) So, while the owl was out of sight, I could hear him plain as anything. (click here to listen)
The owl had stopped calling but I kept listening, just in case. I walked a little farther, to one of my other favorite places.
Looking the opposite direction from there, toward the 'heron tree' is pretty, too.
The swamp was very quiet now. Time to head back to make dinner.
First, one more photo of the trees. I knew it was the calm before the storm, as the weather forecast was calling for 4 to 8" of snow. And sure enough, this morning, it began.
The swamp still looks beautiful with the falling snow...
Somewhere back in the woods, maybe the Great Horned Owl is sleeping the day away in a hemlock or a white pine tree.
Though the morning light is different from yesterday afternoon, this is still a pretty spot--
The owl has a safe place... if he is there. I hope he is!
As I write this, the snow is already piling up. I hope you all stay safe and have a wonderful, white Thanksgiving, too!