Winter Farm Images

My mood has been elevated of late, probably because of the longer days, stronger sunbeams, and the obvious signs of spring, such as emerging flowers and leaf buds. So I thought now would be a good time to review the winter in images, both as a way of saying goodbye to the season and letting readers know what it’s been like in the Willamette Valley of Oregon these past few months.

Dec. 7, Fern Rd Farm. Though technically late fall, on this day of frozen fog it felt like winter had arrived. In this image the epiphytic lichens on an Oregon Ash tree are weighted down by the ice crystals. Lichens are able to fix nitrogen from the air and are a major source of soil nitrogen in a forest.

Dec. 7, A2R Farm. This large but still juvenile hawk spent weeks hunting along the northern border of the farm and was often perched on fence posts.

Dec. 12, A2R Farm. A clear afternoon and the sheep graze with the Three Sisters volcanoes as a backdrop. The forage is after harvest re-seeded annual rye grass (foreground) and small grains (background).

 Jan. 17, Fern Rd Farm. Lichens, moss and snow on an old fence board. These amazing organisms are shriveled dry in the summer and come to life again each winter.

Jan. 18, Fern Rd Farm. Mac Stewart wades through flood waters. As I described in this blog post, the Marys River set a new record high in January.

Jan. 20, Fern Rd Farm. Squash from neighbor’s compost pile moves across our field during flood (but it’s organic so that’s okay).

Jan. 27, A2R Farm. Moving ewes across the road to fresh grass.

Feb. 2, A2R Farm. The sun burns off patchy morning fog. Many clear winter days begin with fog in the valley.

Feb. 2, A2R Farm. A curious ewe approaches the fence. This breed is a Horned Dorset.

Feb. 18, Fern Rd Farm. OSU students plant native riparian trees along an exposed bank of the Marys River.

Feb. 19, Wattenpaugh Farm. Young pasture, irrigation risers, and snow on Marys Peak.

Feb. 19, Wattenpaugh Farm. Fowl in flight: Seasonal ponds on this and a neighboring farm attract several species of water fowl.

Mar. 8, A2R Farm. Signs of spring in the blossoms and emerging leaves of a small tree along the edge of a field and Muddy Creek.