Note: This was previously posted on Seasons of Violet in February, 2004. Minor updates have been made.
We live in rural SW Michigan, USA, on a dirt road in a wooded swamp. The properties on our road are typically five to ten acres. Most of them have at least one spring fed pond. We have two.
The second pond is very small and hidden in the far back corner of the property, so I usually just refer to "the pond", singular, this much larger pond on the east side of the house.
Once the road gets the first substantial snow packed down on it, it stays white the rest of the winter. It's either slippery when it's cold or slushy when it's warm, but it doesn't thaw back down to the dirt until spring is really here. The grayish tracks you see in the picture are ice.
Our five acres is split by a fast running, cold, shallow, sandy creek. The house sits on two acres on the road side of the creek. The driveway starts right before the lower right corner of this picture. I was standing in front of the driveway when I took the picture.
The Back Three acres is "natural" except for some paths mowed through the vegetation so we can walk around out there.
The dogs and I have a Back Three loop where we go for a walk several times a day.
We have deer, fox, muskrats, raccoons, opossums, little red squirrels, big red squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks. One morning the dogs and I walked out onto the Back Three and surprised a coyote. The coyotes are new since we moved here fifteen years ago. They are multiplying rapidly in our county.
It would be impossible to list all the birds. Notable are the Blue Heron that hunt in the ponds and creek and the wild turkeys that run around in flocks of a dozen or more. In the early spring the male ducks come to the pond and entertain us with duck fights as a prelude to the nesting season.
There are a few beautiful new houses on our road costing many hundreds of thousands of dollars. (That's a luxury house in rural Michigan.) There are also trailers, and everything in between. We are one of the in between houses - a very modest, small red brick ranch house that is cozy as can be in the Michigan winter.
Last June I wrote a blog post about our property with more pictures here.