Sunday, January 20, 2019

Some Wintery Things

Boy is it ever WINTER here right now. We've already had several ups and downs, even though there's quite a bit of winter left. In November, we had cold and snow. So I went ahead and put out my seasonal greens a bit early.

Then December turned a bit mild.  I think many of us would like Christmas to be a little snowy, to give that festive holiday look to the season. However, it wasn't anything like that.

Having milder winter weather turned out well when it came time for me to visit the Franklin Park Conservatory for their annual holiday display. This year, most of the more spectacular decorations were in the new Children's Garden. I think my favorite was the rainbow tunnel.

But regardless of the weather, every winter the sun shifts to set over the nearby pond. No one can access the other sides of this wildlife area, so winter is the only time you can see the sun setting over the water. Since the pond is so close to my house, I'm able to pop over there quickly to grab some sunset shots. I've done that often this winter.

Before we made a big switch to true winter weather, I arrived at the pond one night to a small crowd. When I spotted their long lenses, tripods, and binoculars, I knew that the resident eagle must be around. Score! Not only was he there, but he was clearly visible. And there I was with my new 50X zoom camera that Santa brought me. It was quickly turning dark, but I was able to grab this shot. It was quite a thrill! Afterwards, I remembered to snap the sunset, but it was anticlimactic at that point.

Early January continued mild, and I was happy to see my pansies still in bloom and some succulents still hanging tough.

Then winter truly arrived. I used to complain often about the cold of winter, but I've changed my mind to some extent. Snow is so much prettier than the drab winter days we often see.

Even prettier than snow is frozen fog, or hoarfrost. We were treated to this rare phenomenon recently. I was like a child on Christmas morning that day, hustling through my morning to get outside with my camera. I would have liked to spend even more time outside, but I had to hustle off to my piano lessons. But I was able to find plenty to see right in my own yard. It was truly a "wow" sight to see.

And now it's bitter cold. We're expecting temps below zero tonight. Most everything is closed today and tomorrow, as it's just too cold to be out. Hopefully there will be other snowy sights to see this winter, as I'm anxious to work some more with my new camera. However, many of the photos here are actually from my phone. Stay warm out there friends!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Last Remnants

Winter came early this year, long before it usually does. Plus what autumn we did have was much colder and earlier than usual. In early November, I still had a few cold hardy garden highlights to show off. By mid November it was winter, with snow and ice.

It doesn't really surprise me when perennials or shrubs still show off a few flowers late in the season.

Even roses aren't really a shock to me in November. I've had roses in early December before, just not this year. This year the roses were gone by mid November. Boohoo!

But every time that annuals survive such hard frosts, it's amazing to me, even if they're cold hardy annuals.

Our home was only built 15 years ago, so we don't have any tall trees. Not to mention, we didn't really plant any large tree varieties. Therefore autumn foliage is at a premium on our property. But I do have a little.

Still, the best foliage view is looking down the street. Most of this color comes from the much maligned Bradford pears planted as street trees.

I even had a butterfly at the start of the month. If there's a late butterfly, you know it's going to be a painted lady.

And then it was over. First there was an ice storm, then snow later in the day. After that, winter stayed. Autumn may have been short and sweet this year, but it was truly gorgeous while it was here.