Happy New Year! It was 20 degrees F. when we headed off for our walk this morning in the forest preserve.
Our walk took us by Cranberry Slough, which we often cannot see from the trail because of the summer foliage.
Walking a little further I zoomed in on what I think are two muskrat lodges, and we saw a few others that were not in this picture. I also read about muskrat pushups, which are holes in the thin ice that the muskrats make, where they push up stems of pond plants. The pushups provide places to safely eat and rest after an underwater swim. I am not sure if these are pushups or lodges. Muskrats build with cattails, while beavers would build with sticks and trees.
A view of Country Lane as we started our walk this morning around 8:15 am. The snow has melted, though there are a few icy patches.
There were some leaf-shaped holes in the icy puddle areas. The leaf froze on the ice and then the ice probably thawed under the leaf first.
Frosty moss on bridge overlooking frozen stream.
Earlier this week the squirrel spend some time on our birdbath trying to get a drink through the ice…
There was snow on the ground for most of December. This shot was on 12/18. The dwarf fothergilla bush looks good in the winter, showing off shape and shadows, as the snow glistens.
A sunrise shot I took on the first day of winter.
Looking forward to witnessing the wonders of nature in 2017.