The crabapple tree outside the kitchen window has been catching my attention recently.
It snowed on Halloween, but the next day the sun came out and I love the blue sky and fluffy clouds above the snow outlined crabapple tree. On the left the chinquapin oak tree was showing its fall colors.
Backing up, here is the view from the kitchen window.
The dark-eyed juncos have arrived, and are winter residents in our neighborhood.
Male house finch
The crabapples probably get tastier after a freeze or two. Though they probably are not terrific tasting since usually quite a few little apples persist on the branches over the winter.
The crabapples are at various stages of ripeness. The tree is full of crabapples this year and we hardly had any last year.
Profusion crabapple tree this past spring. The weather must have been just right to get the flowers pollinated and set into little apples.
The squirrels have come a number of times for a snack.
Golden-crowned kinglet migrating through Chicagoland. It is always fun to look out the kitchen window and see what birds are stopping by.
The bark of the tree does not look very healthy to me. Does this mean the tree is dying? The leaves get diseased and fall off early each year. I have not diagnosed the problem yet. We did have robins successfully nest in this tree early in the year though, when there were still leaves.
As a side note, I saw a black swallowtail caterpillar in the fennel on November fifth, the week after the snow. We are in cleanup mode these days and have started a big leaf and grass compost pile. I am leaving more plants standing in place this year to provide habitat for wintering insects and other critters that are good bird food. Insects are the foundation of the food chain, right?
Dan and I had a fantastic walk in the woods this morning, starting at the Wolf Road Woods trail in the Palos Forest Preserve.
At Tomahawk Slough we saw a very fluffed up great blue heron. The temperature was below freezing last night and thin ice covered parts of the slough.
This shot was from our walk last week at the Willow Springs Forest Preserve. It is time to pull out the cozy jackets, wooly scarves and mittens, and warm boots and enjoy cold weather hiking.