Rabbits, rabbits, everwhere! Did you notice (above) the rabbit-sized impression at the base of the sled?
I'm thinking a rabbit was resting here on a warmer day when the snow was slushy.
Evidence is everywhere in the garden--rabbit tracks, scat, chewed branches, and telltale angular bite marks on the shrubs.
I had to cage the Dwarf Dogwoods (Cornus pumila), because rabbits were chewing them down to the ground.
But, enough about rabbits. Rabbits will always live here.
In other news, it's bitter cold this week in the Midwest, with highs and lows hovering near 0F/-18C. But before the Arctic blast, I wandered around the garden on a mild day, taking stock.
Fortunately, the Hellebores, Epimediums, Roses, and other plants in the stone wall garden are covered in a toasty blanket of snow. They'll be fine. They've survived much worse.
The toad sundial greets me as if to say, "Really? You left me out here all winter?"
Spotted Deadnettles (Lamium maculatum) are confused--alternately greening and browning with the waves of warm and cold weather. They'll bounce right back in a few days. They may even flower later this month if we get a dramatic thaw.
Among my favorite discoveries in the winter garden: areas where moss meets ice meets rock meets lichen. Interesting that rodents seem to choose these spots to store their winter food.
Apologies for this is a horribly bright photo of Cranberrybush Viburnum (V. trilobum) berries. The flash went off, and it's too cold today to venture out for a better image. Anyway, a few berries remain, although birds have eaten most of them by now.
The fishman roped up the Christmas tree in the woods, to serve as wildlife cover. I haven't noticed much activity here, but a few animal prints weave around the area. The tree looks pretty, and I'm sure birds fly in and out of it for cover, even if I can't see them from the house or through the binoculars.
However, I can see this chewed log from my kitchen window. On closer inspection, I'm wondering what animals have been gnawing here? Squirrels, raccoons? The elevation above the ground is a little too high for rabbits. Chipmunks are hibernating.
In some of the areas where the log is chewed and decaying, fungi are forming. They're so beautiful.
I noticed this one latched on the end of a small branch.
OK, so it's cold this week. So what? Miniature Daffodils (Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete') are waiting patiently for warmer weather. It's only a matter of time.
What's happening in your garden this week?