On the brighter side of things, most of the water runoff should go to HIS property now instead of MINE and this will open my plot to quite a bit of sunshine in the back (our plots are only on the 50'x200' range, so we're not talking terribly large mind you). Since he's been so kind as to add some dappled sunlight back there, I'll be plotting a return of the great forest -- yup, I'm looking for trees to plant along the edge of my property. :)
Since we've entered into colder weather, he appears to have eased off on his chopping frenzy. We'll be watching over the next few months to see what else he does back there then finalize a planting plan to rebuild. I imagine I'll look primarily towards trees with reasonably fast growth rates, decent spreads, and probably something that has extended wildlife value (such as berries, fruits, or nuts). There's a limited number of trees that fit that bill and will grow here in Zone 6A (plus the soil is fairly clayish in spite of efforts to amend it) but we'll manage.
The bird feeding has been a hit -- probably running a couple hundred or more birds through a day here. We're seeing mostly the usual suspects -- sparrows, doves, cardinals, finches, and chickadees -- but a few others flit in and out, as do the tree rats of course. Big ole tree rat was on the largest of the feeders this morning -- knocked himself silly trying to bolt when we opened the door to let the dogs out for the day.
The dogs have destroyed the lawn in the front but at the same time they've also managed to fertilize the yard quite substantially. :) I'll be heading out tomorrow to take advantage of the warm weather (supposed to be 55!) and wash most of it into the soil. Although we've had some fairly cold weather (down into the 20s) it hasn't been sustained enough for the ground to freeze very deep and this little warming snap is just what we needed to give the ground some saturation ability.
That's about it for the winter update here -- we do not do much gardening when the season goes cold on us, preferring to hibernate a bit ourselves. :) Now we'll take time to focus on the indoors and begin looking towards spring planning.