In this cold weather, looking back on the summer warms us up
This summer was a hot one-and I miss it. The cold weather is miserable in my opinion. It's dreary and gray outside, and to do anything you have to layer up from head to toe to do anything outside. I just hate it. Recently, I was looking through a collection of the images I shot on the farm during my many visits. This just made me miss the summer even more, sunburn and all. Looking back at the past few months, I realized how much I appreciate the green spaces in our area, and how vital they are to being happy and healthy.
The farm during the summer is packed with wildflowers and all kinds of critters. The bees, which number in the thousands, probably make up the largest demographic on the property. The deer seem to come in a close second-herds of them just wander around, eating what they please. There are butterflies and birds, and lots of reptiles and amphibians by the water. I even had a run in with a snake (he gave me a pretty big scare, since I almost stepped on him). Spiders at the farm are a force to be reckoned with...needless to say, I avoided them at all costs.
The summer blossoms of the farm
The wildflowers are the least threatening of the residents of the farm. Coming in all shapes and sizes, they provide nectar for all of the pollinators in the area.
These flowers can change year to year as nature takes its course. Some plants spread like wildfire, while others get choked out by stronger roots. Come the spring, we will have replanted the meadow with a heartier mix of plants to provide for the wildlife in the area. Sometimes, grasses can become too thick, which chokes out nectar sources. Every once in a while we turn the fields over to renew the ecosystem with fresh plantings.
Other nectar sources, like ornamental annual flowers, grow around the home on the farm. These provide seasonal color, and a long-lasting nectar source for the insects in the area.
The fig bush at the farm is a little gem. Depending on how harsh the winter is, there can be an excess or a lack of fruits come the next summer, since figs bear off of old wood. This summer, the fig produced a large number of fruits. Surprisingly, bees don't pollinate figs-wasps do. Wasps aren't the friendliest of buggers, but we let them alone (until they get into the house, at least).
I'm just hoping that this winter is a short one-but I have a feeling that won't be. Until the next summer, I'll be looking through my photos of the farm and hanging on until the sun comes back out.