Happy New Year!

January 1

It has been a while since last posting in my online nature journal. I have been keeping up my personal paper journal and sketches, but the online version has been ” left to sit” a bit. Now with a new year I would like continue my journey through nature with all of you.

With snow on the ground and the trees bare, I can see tree shapes. It is a good time to begin tree study. I have two birch trees in front of my home. I love the grayish white bark on their trunk. Their sprawling branches are amazing to look at. They begin as thick branches and then extend to the tiniest twigs.

I am seeing that the bark on one is peeling. I am wondering if it is just a natural way to replace old bark or disease.

As you can see the road is snow covered and the cornfield across the street is also beautifully white with clean snow.



January 4

I have been hearing an owl in the tree tops by the creek across from the house. When I walk the dog late at night about 11:00 – 11:30 pm. Just “hooting” away in the tree tops. I am wondering what breed of owls would be in our area in January! He must be looking for a meal in the creek bottoms. Possibly a rodent or two.

The call I heard was sort of like – Hoo hoo ho-ho, hoo hoo ho-hooooooooaar….

With a bit of research I found this to be possibly a Barred Owl, although with out actually seeing it, I can not be sure.

It  prefers hardwood swamps, woodlands or mature forests consisting of both evergreen and deciduous trees in close proximity to water, and wooded river bottoms. Which describes the area I heard the call, the Barred Owl is most active at night, which is when I heard it. This is a picture from a nature guide not a picture I have taken.