September has a way of whizzing right past me and somehow I find myself in the middle of October. Before I know it the leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and the crisp fall days are shorter than I would like. By the time my fall schedule slows down enough to get away and enjoy the changing foliage, it’s all over. So this year as September seemed to gain speed, rather than throw my hands up in despair, I grabbed my sketchbook and headed outside. Since then I’ve tried to spend a few minutes each week sitting alone in my backyard, drawing what I observe. These short nature sketching dates have been like mini-vacations (without the bed bugs!). I’ve decided to incorporate some of these little nature sketches into my blog. I hope you enjoy them……..
After Mark (Practical Hubby) and I finished removing the sod, the first thing we did was plant two more trees: a river birch and a serviceberry. (I now have eight trees in my yard!) Both new trees are doing well. Of course I’m a little concerned about their first winter in the garden, but I’m hoping that these native Minnesota species will live up to their hardy reputations and pull through just fine.
I’ve noticed that any time I add a tree to my landscape, even a tiny tree, noticeable changes take place. Even though both of these trees are fairly wispy, their presence makes our yard feel more private. Their slight, little branches stretch out and up, acting as natural screens to the outside world and adding a sense of coziness to our yard. I think the goldfinches and swallows agree as they gather on the slender branches, swaying in the fall breeze.
Shortly after we added the trees a squirrel visited the yard (our first since moving here). He ran around the trees, visited the bird feeders, and then took off. I haven’t seen him since, but I’m sure he’ll be back. Something tells me that he has friends. I can’t help but think, “Let the squirrel games begin!” As much as I’m dreading trying to keep the squirrels away from my bird feeders, I also think that every wildlife habitat needs a few squirrels to make it interesting.
Another addition to our landscape is the Downy Woodpeckers. Three were here for two weeks and then gone. I’m not sure if they’ll be back or if they’ve found another place to call home for the winter. I’ve hung up a suet feeder in their honor so I hope they return before long.