Monthly Archives: December 2020

Don’t Let Your Head Hang Down!

Snow Covered Grasses
Heatherwood, Winter

It has been a long and difficult year. But, that is not a reason to let my head hang down. With the Covid-19 pandemic and all the political discord our lives have changed. They will never be the same. We have learned to cope with uncertainty and adjust. New ways of doing things have entered our life styles. That is not all bad.

Being newly-weds, the “stay-at-home” initiative has given Mary and me a lot of quality time to really get to know each other’s habits and interests. We have had a lot of time to discuss our feelings and opinions. We have had time to plan for many things we would like to do in the future. We miss not spending time with our families and friends but look even more forward to what the future will bring.

We are thankful for the challenge and joy that our new garden brings us. We excitedly have watched the garden form during the last two years. We enjoy our frequent strolls through the garden and appreciate those special moments as we sip our morning coffee or afternoon wine.

It has been a long and hard year! But, I can look up with a smile to the challenges and opportunities that a New Year will bring.

Snow Covered Garden

“Looking Up the Hill”
Heatherwood, Winter

This is a winter telephoto perspective of Heatherwood looking up from our southern corner to the northern property line. The grasses of the meadow and those of the north planting area frame in the Japanese garden hillside and the Alpine rock garden. The various garden areas blend together while providing different types of interest.

Winter Welcome

Japanese Garden Entrance
Heatherwood, Winter

Welcome to our winter garden. Fresh snow and no footprints, Heatherwood welcomes me with a fresh entrance into the Japanese garden. I started my walk with a wide angle perspective. I slowly walked forward and stopped every few steps to look around for scenes that caught my eye. I was careful not to get ahead of myself and create footprints that may distract from the view I wanted to create. Four hours later, I finished my walk with a camera filled with winter images.

I Love Our Birches

“White Birch in Snow”
Heatherwood, Winter

Our two groves of white birches are brilliant against the winter snow. Every time I go out to photograph, I seem to gravitate to these beautiful trees. They attract my eye through every season, through the day as it passes from dawn to dusk, and through various types of weather from mist to bright sunlight. Maybe, I should create a focused photo project just on these trees.

Our Dream Came True

“White Christmas”
Heatherwood, Winter

Every Christmas since I was a little kid, I would wish and dream for a “White Christmas.” This year it came true! On Christmas Day, it started to lightly snow at about 1:00P. By evening, we had a nice white blanket of snow gracing Heatherwood. The next morning, I got up and spent an enjoyable several hours wandering in a “Winter Wonderland” with my camera. The time just flew by, I started getting a little tired and hungry and looked down at my watch. Four hours had slipped by since I first stepped outside. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning!

P.S. Mary and I watched Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” last night to end a wonderful day!

Merry Christmas!

Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine
Heatherwood Winter

Merry Christmas to all our families and friends! This little Chief Joseph Pine is a star of brightness in our winter garden. It radiates the Christmas spirit not needing any lights or ornaments.

I have so many fond memories of Christmas pasts. I remember my childhood Christmases when Santa brought the Christmas tree along with the presents after we went to bed on Christmas Eve. How excited I was when I would walk out of the bedroom to see a beautiful fully decorated tree surrounded by wrapped gifts in the living room. I remember one Christmas when Mom would not let us come out of the bedroom because Santa was running a little late. It seemed like it took forever when I heard a whistle. We rushed out of the bedroom to see a marvelous train running around the Christmas tree. And there was Pop, with his eyes half shut but with a big smile on his face.

Christmas has always been a family affair. When we were kids, Christmas Day was held up at Grandma and Grandpa’s house with all our Aunts and Uncles. For several years my twin brother and sister and I were the only kids. We were the center of everyone’s attention. As our families got larger, we opened our gifts in the morning at our own houses, then got together as a whole family for Christmas dinner first at Grandma and Grandpa’s old house, then at our house, then back at Grandma and Grandpa’s new house.

After Grandma and Grandpa had passed, we moved Christmas Dinner back to our house. As all the families expanded and my generation had children of their own, Christmas became a three event day. First, my generation had breakfast and opened gifts with their children in the early morning. In the late morning, our respective immediate families gathered at Mom and Pops for gift unwrapping and Christmas Dinner. Then finally, the whole family with our Aunts, Uncles, and cousins gathered at Mom and Dad’s for Christmas desert. What a wonderful Day!

Over the years, the family has gotten larger and larger. Now there are three generations in the family. Some of us have moved in and out of the area. We also spread our time between our respective in-law families. But we still try to get together as best as we can on Christmas Day. This year will be the first, and hopefully the last, Christmas that we will not be physically together.

Mary and I wish all of you a wonderful and healthy Christmas. Our thoughts and love are with all of you.

Preparing for a White Christmas

Japanese Mountain Lantern
Heatherwood Winter

We are dreaming for a White Christmas. Thankfully, the predictions are for a snowfall on Christmas Day. The light snow we received two weeks ago helps set the stage and prepare us for some winter beauty.

Tonight is Christmas Eve. For Mary and I, it will be a quiet and peaceful evening, a time to reflect and celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We will be thinking of our families and friends, who many like us will be spending Christmas physically separated from our loved ones. Our spirits will be with all of you and those who have passed into our Lord’s arms before us.

Never Give Up!

Spent Echinacea
Heatherwood Meadow

In its summer glory, this echinacea graced the Heatherwood meadow with its beautiful white bloom. Now at the beginning of winter, its glory still hangs on providing a striking contrast to the ground cover and dead leaves below. As snow falls it will continue to stand out as the white crystals collect on the seed head. It will never give up providing interest to the garden.

Creative or Crazy?

Ground Cover Abstract
Heatherwood, Winter

Sometimes it feels good to get away from reality and let the imagination flow. Looking through some macro images I took yesterday I wondered what would happen if I would put a couple of ground cover photos together. I picked a close-up of a clump of blue fescue and a red-colored ice plant. One had a fine texture, one a smooth course texture. One was blue, one was red. I made a multi-image composite in Photoshop and was pleased with the results. I still felt playful and decided to add an impressionistic overlay patterned after Georgia O’Keefe … voila, the above image appeared. Am I creative or crazy? Maybe a little of both?

Searching for the Light

Bloodgood Japanese Maple
Heatherwood Fall

Here comes the sun! We are blessed with such brilliant color, even in late, late, autumn, when the morning sun strikes the remaining fall foliage. It doesn’t seem like today is the first day of winter. Soon the last leaves will be dropping off our Japanese maples. We will still be intrigued with their silhouettes and textured and colored bark throughout the winter.

With the Covid-19 virus still on the loose, we are planning on staying put at home for the winter. Our changing garden will help provide a stimulus to get us outside for little excursions. I look forward to recording how the garden transitions from fall into winter, then into spring. We have planted various trees, shrubs, and other perennials that will provide winter interest as well as late winter blossoming. We look forward to seeing the thousands of bulbs we planted this fall emerge in early spring.