December 20, 2017

Vignettes at the Solstice

nature's collage

I forced myself to get outside yesterday and take a short hike at a local park. I'm so glad I overcame inertia, laziness, and endless excuses, because it really was quite a beautiful day: 45F (7C), sunny skies, and no wind. Those days are numbered until next spring! No snow here yet, so the colors of the landscape are nuanced and mostly shades of gray and brown.

But there are always plenty of opportunities to notice nature's vignettes. Thanks to Anna at Flutter & Hum for hosting Wednesday Vignettes!

mossy log

Where there's moss there are tiny forests of lush green growth.

before rabbits

rabbits

Before and after buds ... evidence of rabbits?

red blue brown

With a largely brown and gray landscape, bright colors pop, like the Redosier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) and the blue sky.

branches and sky

Oh yes, the blue sky!

pond

The nearly thawed pond soon will be frozen solid and covered with snow. Yesterday, however, it seemed like early spring, and the angled sun captured trees, dried stems, and grasses in magical ways.

After a little exercise on such a comfortable day, I felt energized and grateful to be alive. Not really ready for winter, but aware of and thankful for all the little blessings of each day.

Happy solstice!

23 comments:

  1. Happy Solstice! We had similar weather and I thought it was spring....snow followed though so here comes winter and the return of the light!

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    1. Believe it or not, the forecast changed and we will just barely have a white Christmas if the forecast is correct--less than an inch. I hope the plants will be OK when it gets super cold in a couple of days. Yes, more daylight is a very good thing! ;-)

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  2. Happy Solstice to you Beth! Can't think of a better way to celebrate it than what you just did - went for a walk, and admired all the beauty around us. I'm SO ready for the light to come back - hooray!

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    1. Thanks, Anna! Back at you! I was making all kinds of mind excuses to avoid the effort, but it felt so good to be active and observing nature, even though dormant. Longer days, yay!

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  3. Beautiful, love the moss most of all.

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    1. Thanks. Yes, the moss is always encouraging. So much life in there, even in winter! :)

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  4. Isn't it fun to find a lovely clump of green in our brown and grey world. It does so lift the spirits. That bit of sunshine also calls a welcome to the winter solstice. I am glad you shared your time out in what warmth the season gave. Cheers.

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    1. Hi Lisa: I can't believe what that little hike did for my mood! It was like night and day, literally. I must make myself get out for walks during the winter, even though I dislike it. Happy solstice!

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  5. Happy Solstice to you, Beth. You did the most appropriate thing--walking midst the change of season, appreciated the passage of time. Lovely photos!

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    1. Cheers, Tina! Yes, as unplanned and spontaneous as it was, I guess you're right. Walking off the old season and into the new is always a good thing. :) Happy solstice!

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  6. Beautiful scenery, Beth. The sun's angle over the pond gives it a romantic feel. The 45 degree temperature you referenced made me shudder, though - we're thin-skinned out this way! Happy winter solstice!

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  7. Happy Solstice,
    Did you receive snow? It missed us.
    I like the first moss photo, very fun and green. ;-)

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  8. Happy Solstice Beth.... Getting out helps me too.... Maybe deer damage?

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  9. Lovely photos, Beth - what a perfect day it was for a walk, especially the no wind bit. I find that the wind, moreso than the temps, is what usually takes a day from lovely (albeit frigid) to uncomfortable.

    At them moment I'm most grateful for the now lengthening days - the whole business of it getting dark before 5 is just not right! Happy solstice :)

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  10. Sounds (and looks) like a gorgeous day in your neck of the woods!

    It was about 10 degrees warmer here in Tennessee yesterday, but grey and breezy. Nonetheless, as you say, we forced ourselves to get outside, because that's probably as comfortable as it's going to get (at least for the next 10 days, which forecast flooding rains, followed by much colder weather ahead).

    I think some people use red osier dogwood here, even though it doesn't have a reputation for performing all that great in the South. I've been trialing Cornus amomum (silky dogwood) instead - a native that also has that great red color in fall and winter. I planted it in a less-than-ideal spot (it like moist-to-wet soil and some shade, I put it on a mostly sunny hillside), but it's still hanging in there and growing fairly well. A tough cookie!

    Happy Holidays and hope your days will be merry and bright :)

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  11. Oh minus 45 sounds frightening! But sun helps. At least it 'looks' warm.

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    1. Oh no! It was 45F (7C)! Sorry if my dashes were confusing. I changed that to a colon. We never get down to -45F here, thankfully. About the coldest is -25F (-32C), which is bad enough! It wasn't warm during the hike, but it was comfortable with a coat. ;-)

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  12. I love the pictures of the moss, and the Cornus really stands out against those brown stems.

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    1. The mosses are so fascinating year-round, aren't they? If we don't look closely, it's easy to ignore them. But there's so much little life in there. :)

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  13. Beautiful shots--really like light and shadows on the pond!

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    1. Thanks, Hollis. The pond is a cute one. I'm so glad to have so many wonderful water habitats nearby. The wildlife and plant life in and near wetlands is so plentiful. :)

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  14. I am very fond of Red Osier Dogwood, all the dogwoods, in fact, and they are so easy to grow.

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