As we approach a new year, I’m looking back on 2013. This is one of my favorite photos of the year. Harry and I were hiking on a trail near the Cumberland River last April when I spotted this unusual crawdad (crayfish). I’ve never seen one this colorful before.
I’m looking forward to celebrating the winter solstice, our shortest day of the year, on Saturday, December 21. After that, our days will begin to get longer and we’ll start moving toward spring.
I appreciate winter a little more knowing it won’t last forever. So here’s to the wonder of winter, including the magic of snow, bare tree branches, and bright red cardinals.
The berries of the cedar (juniper), wahoo, and winterberries are quite popular with a variety of birds. We didn’t plan for the visibility of the berries when we planted the shrubs, however it’s great fun watching the birds feed while we stay warm indoors.
We were privileged to have two different hawks in the backyard last week. Harry noticed a large bird eating a squirrel in our white pine tree (Pinus strobus). It was snowing and my view was limited. However, this photo shows the brownish belly band that helped us identify it as a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). This is the first time we’ve seen one in the backyard.