As I was cooking cowboy breakfast for some good friends this morning I noticed we still had a late blooming wild violet. I covered it with a bucket so I wouldn't step on it by accident and until I could get a photo of it to share. I love violets as they just seem to tuck themselves into the wild grasses in the spring but it is rare to see any this time of year. I am always on the look out for them as they are so tiny and if I get down on the ground they are intricate as well. I didn't expect to see one this time of year but in the spring we have several patches of them on our property...so I had to photo and share this last one.
The above photo doesn't look like much but what it is intended to show is the brown needles on the very much alive long needle pine tree. This happens usually in the fall when the tree stops sending nutrients up and instead stores them in the roots for the next year. It is a sure sign of fall and then winter. The ground squirrel that lives at the side of the house is so fat its belly scrapes the ground when it runs. Another sign that fall and winter are going to be tough this year. The deer seem to be putting on more weight than usual too. Last winter was brutal for high wind and wet snow but I expect this winter will be colder and more snow that last year had. If the trees and animals are any indication this may be a real hard winter.