It's that time of year for the Winter Walk-off. This walk is hosted by Les over at 'A Tidewater Gardener'. Last year I participated with this post ' Walk Through the Neighborhood...' Last year I came out of the driveway and turned right. This year we turn left....The gravel in the top center of the picture is the top of my driveway. I share this picture to show the dip in the land. This will be referenced later in this post. And now, we turn our back on the driveway and walk..
Serving as our anchor (she stops and sniffs, re-sniffs, stops again, ready to turn back every few feet) on our twice a day walks is Monroe, our Chow/Shepherd mix. She is a tough old gal. This week marks her 18th birthday. I never thought she would make it so long. Our drive from Virginia to South Carolina was about 8 hours long...she paced the back seat, back and forth, the entire trip. That was 2010. She doesn't like walking this way because of the slope of the road....hard for her old bones to make it uphill.
Coming next to the low spot we can see down into the woods.... I love how the sunlight dances through the trees, illuminating the forest floor.
A big thicket of berry brambles.
As I shared last year, I love the native grasses that turn a lovely shade of tan this time of year.
After I put the dogs in the house I thought I should continue the Winter Walk-off. I traveled about 400 feet north... to the lake. I then turned in the same direction that I walked with the dogs along the road. The lake is still lower than what it will be in the summer. The level started coming up January 31st. During the winter the level is lowered for the health of the lake as well as allowing folks to do dock repair, and the turbine maintenance at the dam. It comes up about a half a foot every two weeks.
Since no one lives on the 5 lots next to us in this direction, it feels like a nature preserve. The shoreline is lined with Hibiscus moscheutos. Love the seed heads that stay all winter. The dock you see in the distance is in disrepair, on a lot that has no house. The Herons like sitting on the roof and fishing for dinner from there.
Another plant I have come to learn a bit more about it the Hazel Alder Alnus serrulata. The new female flowers are the red ones at the top of the photo, the male flowers are the catkins. The spent female flowers look like little pine cones.
As the lake level is down, there are some really cool stumps--- I first thought this could be a neat piece of driftwood. WRONG! It is an old tree, still anchored quite firmly in the bed of the lake.
At the corner of the cove by this driftwood is a large Vaccinium blueberry, not sure on the species. The flower buds and leaf buds are ready to open soon.
I reached the cove, the end of my walk for today. Remember at the top of the post where I showed you the low spots on each side of the road? I said there was a stream that goes under the road when we have rain. Well, this cove is where it empties into the lake. Since we just had rain I decided not to walk further, it gets soggy underfoot.
Thanks for coming along with me on my walk(s) today. Be sure to join Les in his challenge to post YOUR Winter Walk-off.
©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.