On this beautiful sunny 40 degree day, we absolutely had to head outside with the camera for a walk around. The snow has melted quite a bit and there are things to see. We headed over to the area where the sun melts the snow off the south facing slope of the gravel bank hill. It is easiest to walk there after the snow has flattened the prickers. There are many patches of this interesting lichen growing there. They are brittle hard when dry and easily broken if stepped on, but soft when wet.
Beautiful soft green mosses grow there too, revealed by the melting snow. Finding bright green plant growth as winter is drawing toward its end is a special treat.
I was fascinated by the round marks in the snow. I can only guess that they were made by water dripping from the trees overhead.
I always look for this creeping evergreen that Mom always called princess pine. I was quite surprised to see the two orange and black milkweed bugs. Apparently they were drawn out into the winter sunlight from their sheltered spot just like us.
We wandered around the garden for awhile. Ed was able to get a great closeup of the catkins on the hazelnut we planted there. Without the steep south facing slope a thin layer of snow still covers just about everything here. There were many tracks in the snow, but there has been enough melting to make identification difficult. I was only really sure about the turkeys. The retreating of the melted snow left the impression of very large bird feet.
We continued on and walked down the lane to the other side of the gravel bank. I never noticed the intertwined branches of this tree before. They wind around each other in a sort of embrace or perhaps it is more of a slow motion strangulation in process with the two branches struggling for control. Either way I love the way it looks.
Snow still clings north facing slope of the gravel bank. The remains of a snowball that rolled down the hill sits at the bottom of its track in the snow. It started small at the top and grew as it rolled down the hill. It's not unlike the process used to build a snowman except that gravity is doing the work. This is the last of our pictures today. There was one more I would have liked to add of our footprints side by side in the snow, but the battery on the camera begged to be charged so that picture will wait for another day and another walk.