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.
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?
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.
Strolling in our garden on a crisp frosty morning, I looked down and saw an interesting pattern on the ground. It reminded me of French tapestry wall coverings I had seen on some of the old historic homes on the East Coast. I took a little artistic liberty and enhanced the image with Topaz Impression to create this final image. Squint your eyes and think of some of those wall paper covered walls on those wonderful early 19th century historic homes.
For reference, below is the base image prior to adding the Topaz enhancement.
Spring through autumn, the rudbeckia provide brilliant yellow color to the garden. Even in their spent form, they provide a bright yellow-brown contrast to the first winter (late fall) snow. Who says a winter garden is dreary?
Morning sunlight sets our birches on fire. Even with the patches of frost on the ground, the birches provide me warmth. Early morning and late afternoon rays highlight Heatherwood’s golden grasses as they rake across the flowing seed heads. Spent, semi-transparent perennial leaves glow as the low light strike them. The few remaining tree leaves flitter as the light is reflected from their shiny surfaces. Nature’s wonders never let me down.
Mary and I enjoy taking a walk from time to time. We really should do it every day. On the road above our home, we get a panoramic view of Heatherwood. I have recorded the view over the time that I have been back in Selah. It is interesting to see how the property has developed over the years.
Our Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pines have turned into their yellow winter glory early this year. Last year it was well into January before they reached this bright yellow shade. In April they start to turn light green and gradually turn to full green by summer. They are one of the all-season stars in Heatherwood’s Japanese garden.
Chief Joseph is a dwarf conifer growing only 2-4 inches per year. It reaches about 6 feet at 10 years and can grow to about 20 feet at maturity. Our two trees were planted last year and are about 3 feet tall.
Stream with Autumn Leaves Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Early morning sun highlighted these fallen autumn leaves. They immediately caught my attention and drew me to work the scene with my camera. I walk up to the top of the stream most every day to see and hear the rushing water. I find something new to photograph every time.
The days are getting shorter and colder. Autumn is ending and winter is following close behind. Yesterday we even had a little dusting of snow. I will need to shut the stream and waterfalls down soon to prevent ice from restricting the stream causing the water to overflow its banks. It saddens me to do so, I will hold back as long as I can. It will be mid March until I will be able turn the stream back on.
We are now blessed with a little frost every morning. When the sun comes out, the leaves remaining in the shade retain their frost dusting. There is so much to see. How do I pick what to photograph?
I use a similar technique that some of our forefathers used to find underground water on their land called “water witching.” Their first step was to find a branch shaped like a “Y”. They held the “Y” branches very lightly with the leg of the “Y” facing horizontally in front of them. They would slowly walk across the land hoping that the leg of the “Y” would drop. When it did, there was water below and they selected the site to dig their wells. Now, imagine a camera with a telephoto lens serving as a “witching” tool. I hold my camera lightly with the telephoto pointing horizontally forward. When I feel the lens starting to drop down there is my pile of leaves that I am destined to photograph. “Leaf witching” works for me … or maybe, my arms just get tired.