I love all seasons of the year–even when there’s not much (or anything) blooming. Winter has its unique beauties. However, after moving to Portland, I didn’t expect to see much of the winter wonderland that visits the Midwest. Boy, was I wrong this year! Nine inches of snow and a coating of ice made for some fierce cabin fever last weekend, but also afforded some great photo ops. Two long walks around the neighborhood yielded these glamour shots…
Have you ever seen a leafcicle? Water froze to the surface of this leaf, then slid off, suspended by a thread just long enough for me to snap a photo.
Buds all over town were imprisoned in ice. It’s like looking into a crystal ball… what do you see? Six more weeks of winter, apparently. Oh, well.
I had to up the brightness and contrast on most of these shots, because they were taken on two very gray and sunless days. This one I left untouched–it really was that colorful. Danger Garden tells me it’s Euphorbia stygiana. Looks like it’s toast, but if so, it sure went out with a bang.
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos) blooming away, oblivious to the cold and snow. It has beautiful cinnamon-colored bark and cardboardy leaves.
A heath (Erica carnea) poking its fool pink head out of the snow. I have a lot to learn about ericaceous plants, after having spent so many years in the alkaline Midwest.
A young monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana). You’d have to be made of stone not to have an affection for these weird, tropical-looking things. They are as lethal as they look, though–do not hug.
These are heavenly bamboo (Nandina) fruits encased in ice.
Purpleleaf plum (Prunus cerasifera). There are probably at least five of these on every city block in Portland.
Freemontodendron californicum with its Squidward-shaped leaves.
This English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is not happy that it got planted under a drain spout. Something to think about when putting in a foundation planting.
Grasses and spiky things, like this yucca, do funny things in the snow. Some sort of Sputnik fallen to Earth? What does it look like to you?
The orange buds on this Scots pine really popped on this gray day. Scots pine needles are short and grouped in bundles of two.
Not sure what plant this bud belonged to (a serviceberry?), but it looks like a painting.
The next time a winter storm strikes, don’t think of it as a bummer… grab your camera!