Winter Solstice hike

When we all began to feel like it would never arrive it finally showed up. Among the hubbub of getting ready for the holidays, school slowing down or taking a break for a bit, wondering if the weather report will contain rain, snow, or a threat of tornadoes the Winter Solstice came and went about 20 minutes ago as I am writing this. Did you see it?

This particular day is not so much celebrated in our house as acknowledged. The kids look forward to more sunshine while I relish to darkness before bedtime and in the early hours when I wake. I enjoy not arguing about it not being bedtime because the sun is still up.

Today, though, we did take advantage of no rain and decently cool but not too cold weather to join a guided walk at a local wildlife preserve. This is a property I had never been to before and from the looks of it is still relatively new.

bluebird house
beaver dam

Not everything was normal photography worthy though this was neat to see. Scat of an animal who had been eating berries. It is not deer or goose. Any guesses who it came from?

deer track
looking for deer
a long distance river along the edge of the property
old river bed, floods during heavy rains
lowland field
old man-made pond, current duck resting place

Learning the history of a piece of land help fill in some gaps and gives you a deeper connection to what you are seeing. For example, the man-made pond in the picture above was created about 60+ years ago by the landowner to give his daughter a place to learn how to swim. He then made even more use of it and charged others a fee to swim there as this was in the south before air conditioning. Now ducks use it and the beaver enjoy it. There were also fish swimming around.

This is a spot I hope to revisit again soon.