Northern Cardinal, Snow and Last Garden Greens

We have had a pleasant autumn.  This past week we had some snow, but it did not stick on the sidewalk, so no shoveling.  It has melted now and we had a lovely walk in the woods this afternoon.

There seem to be quite a few northern cardinals in the yard these days.

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Male northern cardinal trying out the crab apples outside our kitchen window.

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Let’s see how the next one tastes…

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Some years the crab apples go uneaten, so glad they seem edible this year.

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Female northern cardinal working on a red yew berry.  I think the cardinals have found and eaten all the berries on the hicksii yews now.

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House sparrows hang out in the bare branches of the American plum tree.

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This shot was taken a few weeks ago from the kitchen window.  Can you see the neighbor cat who comes to visit?  Generally I don’t like the cat reducing the biodiversity in the yard, but I guess I don’t mind the help if it is getting rid of some of the house sparrows.

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On Wednesday we had a pretty snowfall, but it quickly melted away.  The winter shadows are long now.

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I just took this shot of the remains of our garden.  We continue to pick a few collard green each time we cook, and we got a few tiny Brussel sprouts today.  Mint, parsley, oregano, and thyme are still green if I want them.  Last Sunday a took some buckets, filled the trunk up with horse manure from the local stable, and spread it on the garden.  We also turned the compost pile yesterday and harvested about a foot of compost from the bottom of the pile and threw in the garden.  We can spread it around where needed in the spring.  I see the squirrel’s tail as it makes a get away on the back fence…

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Winterbor kale is still growing.  Wonder if it will make it through the winter and start up again in the spring.

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The little bluestem grass is wonderful this time of year.  It turns red with feathery seed heads.

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When we went to the forest preserve today the woods were quiet and peaceful.

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These scraggly roots are just a glimpse of the living matter under the ground holding this forest in place.  All the leaves are down now and the deciduous forest can rest until next spring.

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