1 The early mornings at the farm have been very frosty.
2 Walking towards the vegetable garden - The mornings have also been very foggy.
3 It looks so eerily magical!
4 The hoarfrost, also called white frost, was on the surface of everything.
5 Frost upon nepeta - cat mint
6 A frosty oak leaf
7 Frosty bald cypress needles
8 And frosty grass
9 Frost forms when the deposition surface is colder than the surrounding air.
10 Billie, Rufus, and Clive, the Sicilian donkeys huddle together in chilly weather.
11 Sasa trotted closer to say hello.
12 He looks quite comfortable bundled in his winter blanket.
13 Wilmer has been cleaning out the vegetable garden. Here he is cutting back oregano.
14 The beds are nice and clear for a winter's rest.
15 Meanwhile, inside the vegetable greenhouse....
16 The beds are growing nicely.
17 Tomato plants are growing in large pots on this far wall. The string and bamboo will act as supports.
18 The beds are planted with herbs, spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets, chard, and many other wonderful vegetables.
19 My citrus collection is stored in the small hoophouse for the winter.
20 We'll soon be picking Valencia oranges and lemons.
21 The painting crew has finished staining the hay barn and is now working on the equipment shed.
22 Leaf removal continues. The leaves are transported to the composting area.
23 Chipping the hurricane damage also continues.
24 During the hurricane, trees fell all around this greenhouse, but miraculously, no trees fell on it!
25 This is where many large tropical plants spend the cold months.
26 This is an American Kestrel nesting box, North America’s littlest falcon. It is about the size and shape of a morning dove but this bird is an intense hunter. The nesting box has an internal perch so mother and young can keep an eye out for their next meal
27 An owl nesting box is mounted on a nearby sycamore tree and it looks like it has a resident!
28 Zooming in, it looks to be an Eastern Screech Owl - gray morph. These compact raptors are about 7 to 10 inches tall and have a wingspan of about 18 to 24 inches. This was a lucky sighting as screech owls are far more often heard than seen.
29 A winding carriage road through the woods
30 The forest floor is carpeted with Christmas ferns.
31 These ferns are quite popular because they are one of the few ferns that will stay green all winter long.
32 The little woodland folly is also getting a new coat of stain.
33 The field of Christmas trees has a few more years to grow.
34 More storm damage
35 Remember the tall spruce tree that was knocked over by the Tenant House?
36 SavATree came to deal with the giant stump. Last week, all of the shade plants surrounding it were relocated and my farm crew worked on sawing off many of the large roots.
37 This green machine is called a stump grinder.
38 The grinder is driven into position. It has a high-speed disk with teeth that grind the stump and roots into small chips.
39 The disc moves back and forth across the stump eating away. The wooden barricade blocks the wood chips from flying.
40 As the stump gets smaller, the operator adjusts the position of the machine.
41 Grinding continues. I have a feeling this stump grinder has been working overtime after the hurricane.
42 With the stump gone, Wilmer and Phurba remove most of the wood chips.
43 The wood chips were taken to the compost area and the garden was filled with composted soil. Gardening, like life, goes on!