Winter Reins

While snowstorms are my favorite winter weather events, I don’t always get what I want. Such was the case today. Only a few days ago, as I checked Weather Underground for updates, it looked like we’d receive 4-6 inches of snow. But, the closer the day drew, the lesser the snow amount and more the chance for mixed precipitation.


Such mixed precip brings its own frosty coating, layering branches with icy crystals.

i-sheep laurel

Even the springy look of the sheep laurel was enhanced by its temporary trimmings.


While the goldenrod appeared to shout out its name despite its winter form.

i-intersection of sensitive fern and steeplebush

And steeplebush found a couple of friends offering support among the sensitive fern fronds.

i-witch hazel

The day’s glaze outlined the wavy margins of withering witch hazel leaves still holding fast.


And my world slowly transformed. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to watch the changes occur.


As for the backyard birds, they just kept coming, from goldfinches to . . .

i-white-throated sparrow

white-throated sparrows,

i-junco 1


i-junco 2

and more juncos,

i-male cardinal

Mr. cardinal . . .

i-female cardinal

and the Mrs.,

i-hairy woodpecker

plus a male hairy woodpecker,

i-bluejays and icicles

and any number of bluejays.

i-blue jays 1

There were more visitors as well, including a purple finch, a couple of chickadees, and a flock of turkeys. All, like these bluejays, studied either the feeders or the seeds I’d spread on the ground . . . contemplating I suppose.

i-blue jays 2

And then making a choice. Over and over again.

i-hydrangea 1

As the day wore on, the icicles grew longer and last summer’s hydrangea flowers glowed below their frozen outwear.

i-white pine

In the morning, the white pine needles sported only a thin layer of ice.

i-white pine 1

But by the afternoon, they began to sag beneath the weight of their heavy blankets.

i-red oak 1

The bristly points of marcescent red oak leaves grew into long rounded fingers dangling below.


Yesterday’s flower brackets looked more like a cluster of tiny bioluminescent jellyfish today.

i-still sleeting?

It was a day of constant change creating its own beauty.

Periodically, like me, the goldfinch checked on the weather.

As the ice turned to sleet and then rain, he and I both knew that winter still reins.

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