Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Frosty Day In The Garden

echinacea, frosty echinacea
Nineteen degrees Fahrenheit (-7˚C) - really?  I could hardly believe my eyes as I peered at the temperature gauge outside my kitchen window.  And as I looked out into my garden, or what remains of it, I could see that the last surviving plants and flowers were covered in ice crystals! When the average seasonal temperatures in our valley at this time of year are a high of 52˚F (11˚C) and a low of 38˚F (3˚C), a frosty nineteen degrees in the garden is a visual story just waiting to be told. So let's start with the echinacea flower pictured above - it's the only flower left on that plant. And when the petals decay and fall away, what stays intact are the spiny seed pods:

echinacea, frosty echinacea

And those spiny seed pods are a delicious treat for the little yellow finches that love to eat them, as evidenced here:

echinacea, frosty echinacea

The last of the pink tea roses on this rosebush faded away several weeks ago, but those beautiful green leaves have endured:

tea rose, tea rosebush, frosty tea rose, frosty tea rosebush
tea rose, tea rosebush, frosty tea rose, frosty tea rosebush
tea rose, tea rosebush, frosty tea rose, frosty tea rosebush

I love the patinated surface of this terra cotta sun face from New Mexico. It has been hanging on this fence, aging gracefully, for some years now. I was excited to photograph its frosty, sparkling, perpetually beaming smile this day, in a moment of glorious shadow and light:

New Mexico sun, New Mexico frosty sun

Here are a few more colorful, frosty leaves and flowers I spotted, such as these blueberry leaves:

blueberry leaves, frosty blueberry leaves

And some strawberry leaves:

strawberry leaves, frosty strawberry leaves

A dahlia:

dahlia, frosty dahlia

A chrysanthemum:

chrysanthemum, frosty chrysanthemum

And the ever popular hydrangea:

hydrangea, frosty hydrangea
hydrangea, frosty hydrangea
hydrangea, frosty hydrangea

Spending time in the garden would not be complete for me without a little peek into the bird world. During this time of year, we get many of the small perching birds such as this Oregon Junco. Did you know that it's easy to photograph birds outdoors? This method works very well if you regularly feed 'backyard birds', who are accustomed to spending time in your garden: when they come to eat the food you have provided, just find an out of the way spot and sit perfectly still. As long as you don't make any loud noise or move suddenly, they are usually not disturbed by the slow subtle movements of taking pictures. Give it a try!

Oregon Junco, Junco, feed the Junco, feed the birds, photograph birds, how to photograph birds

Thanks for spending A Frosty Day In The Garden with me!


1 comment

  1. How wonderful to have a look at your winter garden. We haven't had any frost or freeze here, there are still some flowers blooming! I especially love the echinacea seed pods, but a simple frosted leaf looks beautiful too!


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