1 A view of the weeping willow grove I planted in a marshy area of one of the lower fields. These trees like wet feet, and do best in areas where they can soak up water near streams or rivers.
3 These trees still look so mysterious and magical even without foliage or fruit - so pretty.
5 Trees that need to be taken down or pruned are marked with colored trail ribbon tape - red means to take the tree down.
6 Pink ribbons indicate the tree needs pruning.
7 Several trees need pruning in this area of the woodland.
8 In 2009, I planted this field of Christmas trees at my farm - 640 trees to be exact - white pines, Fraser firs, Canaan firs, Norway spruce and blue spruce.
9 They are located in a far corner of the farm near my enormous compost piles. I am so pleased with how well they have been growing. Reforestation is very important and the more trees, the better.
10 I love planting trees, and since I moved to my Bedford farm, I've planted thousands of them. Planting trees is one of the easiest and most sustainable ways to positively affect the environment.
11 While the weather remained mild, we were able to do a lot of cleaning and reorganizing around the farm. Scrap pieces of wood were stacked neatly behind the large storage unit.
12 Any materials from other building projects were organized and stacked in this area. I try to reuse and repurpose as many materials as possible, so nothing is wasted.
13 Wire fencing was all stored together, so it can be accessed easily and quickly.
14 A view of one of three hay fields.
15 There are several streams that flow through the farm. They all lead to the Cross River Reservoir. Jude and Truman love visiting the streams and exploring through the woodlands.
16 This stream has a patch of slender dry land in the center - Jude and Truman call it "Long Island".
17 Most ferns grow in moist areas under the forest canopy. There are many ferns alongside these streams - I would love to plant more.
18 Here is another part of a stream, with more greenery growing nearby.
19 Along one side of the North Maple paddock by the run-in shed, I have a row of Osage orange trees. Despite the name, it is not related to oranges at all, but is a member of the fig family. The fruit's botanical name is Maclura pomifera.
21 There was one last Osage orange left on the tree. The name of the tree comes from the Osage tribe, which lived near the home range of the tree, and the aroma of the fruit after it is ripe - quite similar to orange peel.
22 The Osage orange tree has sharp thorns. During the mid 19th century, the trees were planted and pruned into hedges to deter cattle before the introduction of barbed wire in the 1870s.
23 We have had many coyote sightings at the farm. Because I have friends who enjoy walking the trails, I had signs erected at various points to remind everyone to be careful and to keep pets leashed - we want everyone to be safe.
24 The recent rains have kept the ground very wet, causing all sorts of mushroom varieties to pop up around the property. Fungus digests rock particles and other organic matter in soil, preparing it for new plants to grow.
25 Until this past year, I had 10-scholar trees, Sophora japonicum, at the farm. Unfortunately, two of them fell down, but the remaining eight are thriving.
26 Over in the vegetable garden, we opened up the last section for the chickens, Guinea fowl, geese and turkeys. Not only are they naturally fertilizing the soil, but the scratching and digging breaks up the soil for proper aeration.
27 They will have access to the area for a few weeks - the result will be a rich, healthy garden bed of soil.
28 The outdoor grounds crew works hard to keep the woodlands clean. All these twigs and small branches will be used as kindling, or put through the chipper to make mulch for the gardens.
29 A favorite viewpoint for many who visit the farm - the winding carriage road leading to the woodlands.
30 To protect young trees, I like to place stakes and twine around the perimeter of each one, so that they are visible during the cold season when their leaves have fallen and the branches are covered in snow. In warm weather, the stakes protect them from the weed wacker.
31 This old apple tree outside my blog studio has crutches as well. These supports blend right in - they almost look like trees themselves.
32 The bald cypress trees were given a fresh pruning. It's important to cut back any tree branches that may be dead, diseased, or in the way of vehicles, people or horses on the carriage roads.
33 It's best to prune during winter, while the tree is dormant. Winter pruning invigorates the tree, causing it to grow more during the following season.
34 More burlap encasing the boxwood hedges in front of the Summer House.
35 All the English boxwood in the Boxwood and Ginkgo Garden is also tucked away and protected for the winter beneath these burlap coverings.
36 We did place plastic netting over the stronger American boxwood, which can withstand harsher weather conditions better than the English variety.
37 A view of the finished burlap covering the Boxwood Allee. In the foreground, an ancient apple tree surrounded by antique white spruce fencing.
38 All the beds were top-dressed with a layer of composted manure - it is so good for the soil. I can't wait for these gardens to bloom in springtime.
39 By my Winter House, these snowdrops were blooming - what a beautiful sight in the middle of winter.