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.

i-hemlock

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.

i-goldenrod

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.

i-home

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

i-goldfinch1

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

i-white-throated sparrow

white-throated sparrows,

i-junco 1

juncos,

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.

a-aster

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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