And so we come full circle with our "tree following" posts. What a wonderful learning experience this has been!
Lucy at Loose and Leafy hosts this tree following meme, and it's been a privilege to participate this year. I dedicated my posts to our twin Shagbark Hickories (Carya ovata). Each month revealed new things about them. (To read earlier posts, click this link or search for "Shagbark" in my search bar).
Now in my part of the world, December and November have switched places this year. I have no images to show of snow catching on the bark of the Shagbarks, because we've hit a patch of mild weather. There's even talk of a non-white Christmas here in Southern Wisconsin. (Whether this happens or not, I won't be the one to complain about a mild December.)
Here are my December 2014 garden observations about the Shagbark Hickories:
Most years, the Hickories lose at least some of their leaves before the snow flies. This year, the snow dropped first--in early November. Slip-sliding around with a rake didn't make much sense, so my chores are delayed.
It's interesting to trace where some of the leaves have fallen.
No picnics on this bench for a while.
Hickory leaves are mixed with Oaks as winter mulch for the hardy plants in one of my pots.
Some of the curled leaves are impaled on the nearby Lilac shrub.
The color and texture of the dried Hickory leaves reminds me of cognac-colored leather.
Even in winter, the trees host healthy mosses and lichens.
A few avian visitors fly from the feeders to the Hickory branches and back again. This photo of a Hairy Woodpecker was taken a few weeks ago, before the Hickory leaves (in the background) dropped.
Though the branches are now bare, the Hickories remain strong and stately.
And their winter buds portend the promise of another year of life.
Thanks to Lucy at Loose and Leafy for hosting the tree following meme. Visit her blog on the 7th of each month to learn more about trees from around the world.
I'm also linking in with Michelle's Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.
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(Thanks to those who've participated in and commented on PlantPosting's "Lessons Learned" meme. The meme remains open indefinitely, and we'd love to learn from your experiences. Click here or on the "Lessons Learned" tab to participate.)