Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scenes From First Snow 2008

We received our first measurable snowfall yesterday, but barely. The last several forecasts have been for 1-3 inches of snow and we just haven't gotten it. Even this one, which was supposed to be on the deep end of that, didn't come through that way. But when it was over, at least there was still snow on the ground that lasted all day long without melting.

Romie and I took off for a walk during late afternoon, making sure to bundle up, because it was a chilly 22°, with a slight breeze. The sun was out when we began, but as we made the return trip up the road to home and the sun began to set, the clouds started to roll in. No words were needed to say how cold it was. The sound of the squeaky snow as we walked along spoke for us.

Most of the images here were taken in our gardens or yard, with a couple from our walk. It's not hard to find beauty when Nature blankets her world with snow, even when it's just a little bit.

Usually the first to disturb freshly fallen snow are the kitties.

In summer, the cotoneaster is thick and green with leaves and the giant hostas behind them provide privacy for the cats as they nap in their shade. Not today. The hostas are sleeping and what's left of the contoneaster leaves are a deep and beautiful burgundy. A few red berries remain.

Even redder are the apples that are left hanging on the tree.

Mom's favorite astilbe ('Sprite') is beautiful in summer and winter.

I was surprised to see these small drifts created by the wind swirling around the boxwood next to the driveway.

The narrow bed in front of the house provides winter interest with Pennisetum alopecuriodes 'Hameln' and Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' towering over Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold', with variegated Euonymus behind them, which in winter has taken on a pink hue.

A close-up of the 'Evergold' Carex shows it to be still pretty lively in its cream and green. I've seen places that says it's hardy only to zone 6, while others say 5. We're in 5, so I mulched them well and I'm hoping for the best. This is their first winter here.

We have four beautiful Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) trees that are loaded with bright red berries every winter. These are a favorite of the cardinals and other birds. By spring, the tree branches will be totally devoid of the berries.

Oops. It looks like I missed cleaning some leaves out of this area of the Japanese Garden and now they're covered with snow. I'd better get those out of there before heavier snow comes so they don't mat down. The plumes of the Miscanthus sinensus 'Strictus' look great all winter long, as do the wide dark green spikes of the Yucca. I'm hoping the Gaura that's planted in front of the stone pillars lives through the winter this time.

The Yucca casts a late afternoon shadow over the staggered stone walkway through the Japanese Garden.

Even cement and stones create an interesting texture when snow has filled in the spaces.

Max's Garden is down to its bare bones and blanketed with the new snow.

Sedum 'Autumn Fire' holds fragile snowflakes in its dried seedheads.

This little vignette of St. Francis offering bird seed (it's under the snow in his bowl) looks quite different now compared to a couple of months ago.

This is the view out our front door, across the road. I like how the snow accentuates the neat rows of winter wheat.

This is the same miniature rose bush that was pictured previously here (second photo), and I like the freeze-dried version of its blooms, too!

Grandma's big clusters of Christmas ornaments are back up on the pergola, as they have been every year since she gave them to us. I like how they look when they're heavy with snow. They are beautiful
at night, too.

Now I feel like I've properly participated in Nancy's Garden Bloggers First Snow Project. Please click on the graphic below to visit her list of other participants. There are some gorgeous snow pictures that other bloggers have shared from their parts of the world. Have a look!


Cindy Garber Iverson said...

How beautiful, Kylee! I love the snow on the ornament clusters too. I have to say that's my favorite decoration that you feature. I enjoyed them last year too. And the hawthorn berries are beautiful against the white snow!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, snowy photos, Kylee! I'll add a link today to the First Snowfall page -- thanks for playing along. :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kylee your vignettes of winter interest are fit for a book. Each one is intersting and inspiring.

Those poor kitties now have such cold toes. Brrrrrrrrr

IBOY said...

Kylee... you're Japanese garden tableaux is really nice; very peaceful.


Unknown said...

It's just beautiful, your yard from your lens. I love that cotoneaster.

Connie said... have captured some wonderful snow scenes! I think my favorite is the freeze dried rose.
No snow for us here yet, as we are experiencing record mild temps. I looked up the first snow which I posted on my blog last year and found it was Nov. 18, so guess we may be overdue for ours, but I will enjoy it when it comes. I love 4 seasons!

Kylee Baumle said...

Cindy ~ I used to not like those ornaments, but now I do. I don't know what changed in me, but oh well!

I've always loved the Hawthorn berries and look forward to them every winter.

Nancy ~ Thanks, and thanks for hosting this, Nancy! It's such a great idea!

Lisa ~ Oh goodness, what a great compliment...thank you. As for the kitties, they're used to it, but I always feel sorry for them, too. They can get out of the snow and cold though, so if they walk through the snow, that's their choice. One winter, we had all the kitties in the house (their first winter as kittens) and I thought we'd go mad before spring. It wasn't my idea, but Romie was glad when it got warm enough to let them out all the time again, too.

Don ~ Thank you. I enjoy that part of our gardens, too. It's quite different, of course, than Max's Garden and the other flower beds.

Darla ~ Thanks, Darla. I very nearly tore all the cotoneaster out some years ago and then my mom stopped me and went in and did some judicious pruning. It looked fabulous after that and I was glad I kept it.

Connie ~ I think the rose is my favorite, too. I can think of things that I could do with it and I might...later.
I like four seasons, too, but I wish winter didn't last so long!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Crumbs Kylee, I had snow before you did. Who would have thunk?

How fresh and lovely everything looks outside when snow has fallen. It certainly brought out the beauty of the Our Little Acre winter garden.

Love Grandma's Christmas ornaments!

BTW I've mentioned you on my blog or rather a relative of yours. ;-)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

What a fun way to start my day, looking at your creative pics of snow and how it looks in different places on your property. I always like it when people show from both far away and close up.

O.I.M said...

so much loveliness beneath all that snow. I love that carex. And the astilbe too. I used to cut mine back for winter but not anymore. they look just as good in the snow. what a fool I was...ha ha ha. thanks for the i.d on my mystery tree. I'm beginning to think it is some type of hawthorn. I might have to get some pictures of the bark and wait for the blooms and leaves in spring for a positive i.d. thanks again.

Unknown said...

We had our first snow so long ago it's hard to remember what the ground looked like. We'll just keep piling up our snowfall until about March when it gets warm enough to cause it to melt. It's prettier to look at than feel, that's for sure!

As I was walking to the neighbor's with misdelivered mail I came across a flock of wild turkey tracks. I SO wished I had my camera, but it was almost dark and starting to snow again. I'm determined to get that picture though if they wander through here again.

Brenda Pruitt said...

Amazing to see those red apples in that photo! I love all your gorgeous snapshots. So wintry and festive.

Kylee Baumle said...

Yolanda Elizabet ~ *Craig Ferguson voice on* I KNOW! *Craig Ferguson voice off* They kept saying we'd get snow and then we didn't. I was getting stressed just waiting for it! LOL!

I checked your blog just a couple of days ago and discovered a comment I'd made had apparently been eated by Blogger so I left another, and then I checked your post from yesterday. Too funny, and especially because I have an Uncle Bob and that day was his birthday! Amazing! :-)

Sue ~ I like that too, Sue, yet I rarely do that on my own blog. My aunt is always chastising me for that!

Irena ~ The Carex really is gorgeous. I sure hope it makes it through the winter. I cut back less and less. It's hard for me to do that, because I like things neat and tidy, but it's winter and really, who is out there for long anyway? I now leave about half of what I used to cut.

Cinj ~ Oh I agree! I love snow if I don't have to go out in it when it's actually snowing and blowing around, or drive in it.

Ooooh! Wild turkeys! We have them here, too, though I don't see them all that often. Our neighbors have domesticated ones. They are BIG birds! I hope you're able to get your photos!

Brenda ~ I was amazed that the apples weren't shriveled! If you look closely, you'll see there are many laying on the ground, too. It was a bumper year for them! Thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed the photos!

Jan said...

Hi Kylee,
It looks very holiday-like at your place! I'm happy to see I'm not the only one who didn't cut down my astilbe, liriope, roses, etc! I can't wait to get some snow so the plants sticking up will add to the interest! You have taken some really great photos here!! I love your red apples! Jan

Naturegirl said...

A wonderful series of first snow captures in this winter garden!Every season has it's own beauty!

Shady Gardener said...

Nice presentation, Kylee. Life is busy these days, is it not? All for the good, though. I hope I get back for one last visit before Christmas, although we're leaving to visit our son & family on Saturday the 20th! :-) (Yea!)

Unknown said...

Kylee, I hope the big storm we heard about in the northeastern US left you unscathed. This snow is beautiful...that one, not so much.

Unknown said...

I love the freeze-dried blooms, the stone and brick with the snow packed in... but most of all, I love the huge clusters of ornaments hanging from your arbor! They're like giant Christmas grapes--how fun. :)

Anonymous said...

What a nice collection of winter photos. We haven't had enough snow in Chicago worth talking about. Lost of ice so far but not a lot of snow.

A wildlife gardener said...

Beautiful winter wonderland photos..and I have two favourites...the Washington hawthorn and the one of St Francis :)

I am back in blogland after an enforced absence of four months due to family illness...

Merry Christmas and blessings for 2009 :)

Kylee Baumle said...

Jan ~ The snow is all gone now, but I'm sure there will be more before too long.

Nature Girl ~ You're right, and I wish at least a little snow would remain at all times throughout the winter. Right now, it's just gray and brown out there!

Shady Gardener ~ Yes, this is such a busy time! I didn't make ONE SINGLE POST last week! I worked a 40-hour week and was gone three nights out of that, so there just wasn't time (or energy). I don't know how people who work full-time manage to keep up with blogging along with all the other things that working full-time entails.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the time with your son and his family!

jodi ~ No, we didn't get a bit of that snow. We are snow- and ice-free at the moment. I think we are due to get just a dusting later tonight. I'd like a little bit more than that though.

Kim ~ They do look like clusters of grapes, don't they? I used to not like them all that well, but now I do.

Mr Brown Thumb ~ We haven't had much at all either. This snow didn't last long - about a day or so.

A wildlife gardener ~ Sorry to hear about the family illness. I hope things are going much better now. I'll have to pop over for a visit - welcome back to the blogosphere!

Merry Christmas to you as well!

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