Seasonal Celebrations-Winter’s Moods


“When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves –
Welcome wool sweaters.”
~B. Cybrill



Winter is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere.  If it hasn’t hit you yet, it will eventually.  We mark the start of winter by the first measurable snowfall, and consistent cold and snowy weather.  Boot, sweaters, coats and ice scrapers for the car come out and stay out.  The smell in the air is snow, and there is no more growth in the garden.  Critters are hibernating or are sporting their winter coats.

Yes winter is as inevitable as the sun rising.  And with winter, for many, comes the grumbling about the dark, gray days with little sunlight.  As I said in my post a couple of weeks ago, Winter’s Gifts, we should look for the good in winter…it’s many gifts.  I believe it is one of the most beautiful and introspective seasons thereby allowing me to contemplate its merits, and celebrate the season.

As I was looking back at winter photographs recently, a theme began emerging.  Winter does not have one mood, it has many and each one is amazing to behold.  




“Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”


DSCN8316Sometimes when winter begins, we see it’s wild side.  The howling winds in excess of 40 mph.  Snow whipping up everywhere and anywhere.  You can’t see a thing, and you know if you have a choice, you are not venturing out.  Instead, you are content to sit by the window and look at Mother Nature paint your world white.

And yes, when I have had to venture out in ‘white out’ conditions, cursing under my breath and white knuckled holding on to the steering wheel, I still cannot get over how amazed I am with this white world suddenly surrounding me….eyes on the road Donna!  What road….I can’t see the road!  AGHHHH!







“Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery- toed slippers of snow,
And we, were children once again.”
Billy Morgan, Jr.


pink sunrise

When my heart stops beating, like a baby bird’s after its first flight, and the snow has let up a bit, I am amazed at the beauty now created….a clean slate wholly perfect, fresh and clean.  Snow clinging to every plant, every branch, every surface making funny shapes.  Showing every fine detail of my garden now nestled snuggly beneath its new white blanket of warmth.

A pale glow in the sky.  A winter wonderland that takes my breath away now in a different way.  I am transported back to those childhood memories of snowmen, sledding and snowball fights.







“The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination.”
Terri Guillemets



As the sun comes out to play in winter, it reflects off this new polished landscape.  Holding every surface captive in its icy grip.  

Cold, bright, blue skies create a new palette of color.  The snow turns from white to blue.  Rainbows appear sparkling in the snow, and fabulous shadows are painted making new pictures to take my breath away again….sometimes because I inhaled the frigid cold air.

And even in the cold air, the sun is warm enough to melt and drip new icicles into creation.  A wonder to behold….it must be magic!  Wish I could break one off and suck on it…..not anymore now that I know it comes from my roof…ewww!




sparkling collage




“Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.”
Mignon McLaughlin




And as the sun lowers on a winter’s day….at 4:30 in the afternoon mind you…..the snowy landscape is swallowed up creating a new world.  

I can see out into my garden in winter even when it is dark because the snow continues to reflect even the little bit of light cast by the moon.  It makes different, almost ghostly, shadows.  


These early, dark gray days can be the hardest on us as they can stretch out for months.  And these are the days I will be focusing on this winter….to not lose myself in the gray.






My winter mantra:

Winter can be a bit long, gray and confining here in the Northeast, where snow can pile up over 150 inches and temps can plunge well below zero.  It’s enough to depress even the cheeriest people I know…especially with the many, many, many, many, many deep, dark, gray days that stretch on endlessly.  So how am I going to work with the gray this winter?

I found this amazing quote….it seems to sing a song to me that says it really isn’t that long, and there are not as many gray days as you think (maybe I should count them):



“Winter dies into the spring, to be born again in the autumn.”
March Blumenberg


So I have resolved to make a point to notice the gray days….to celebrate each one.  When I see this bleached out, almost colorless landscape, I will be spending more time observing nature.  Noticing the birds, listening to the wind as it moves through and across the landscape, venturing out with my camera to grab those unique shots and views around my garden and surrounds. These are the days I will be making my favorite hot delicious home-cooked meals, and warming my toes in front of a fire-place with loved ones.  Creating poetry, coloring, reading and clearing the clutter.  These will be days for long periods of contemplation too….for dreaming about life, and all I am still learning.  

(**most of the pictures here were taken last winter)

RURAL Donna1


Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of RURAL, a free on-line magazine which is the creation of Jen@ The Light Laughed.  You can read an excerpt of my story, Winter’s Gifts, in this Christmas/Winter issue of RURAL. I am pleased to be featured in with so many creative and talented folks.  You can subscribe to RURAL here.



I hope you will join me to make a point to celebrate winter in whatever way you most enjoy.  Read how to join in the celebration below.



Join In The Seasonal Celebration:

As I feel winter’s call, to celebrate this new season coming soon, I hope you will join me. I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of summer to join in too.  

All you have to do is write a post between now and December 20th telling me how you are or will be celebrating the new season.  Then leave a comment on this post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on December 21st.  

I do hope you will consider joining in the Seasonal Celebrations meme as we celebrate the new season arriving soon to your corner of the world.

And as always, I will be collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  Write a separate post or combine your Lessons with your Celebrations for one post.

If you missed my interview of Beth, on my other blog, pop on over….I had a delightful time visiting with Beth.



In A Vase On Monday 

Here are a couple of little vases showing some of the last blooms, celebrating the end of autumn in my garden…..



This little jug has one small Rudbeckia that was blooming low on a stem hidden by other plants….and I coupled it with the lavender still blooming in the front garden.





Of course these pink, very fragrant roses were found blooming on the side of the house.  I am amazed at how they keep pumping out flowers.  And these are not Knockout Roses.  I have lost their labels, but one is a climber and the other a bush rose.  Again a bit of lavender and a few fern fronds found blooming in the protected shade of the house.

As winter is banging on the door now, I will be looking for surprise blooms and other garden materials to arrange in a vase….possibly those that show the declining garden.

I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepared these vases you see here:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.  Please check out these wonderful blogs and link ups.



Next up on the blog:  

On Monday, I will have my November garden wrap up.  It was quite a month. 

I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday.



I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

108 Replies to “Seasonal Celebrations-Winter’s Moods”

  1. Donna what a lovely positive post, I prefer your white world to my grey raining world, though for drivers my grey wet world is much easier to cope with than snow and ice, enjoy your new found retirement now you do not have to go out daily to work, and, the winter solstice is just 3 weeks away when the time will change and every day will become a bit lighter,
    I love your beautiful white photos, Frances x

    1. I prefer the white to the wet gray too Frances…and we are having the wet gray now instead of the white….so happy you enjoyed the winter scenes from my garden in years gone by.

  2. Hello, I must admit I like seeing the first pretty snow. But, after that I am not a fan of winter or the cold. Your images are lovely and I could look at them and enjoy! Beautiful arrangement and vase. Happy Monday, enjoy your day!

  3. Thank you for this uplifting post.
    I will be re-visiting it many times in the months to come. My plan is to focus on ‘gentle’ and ‘bright’. I have always loved the bright days when the light is at a sharp angle coming through the winter windows of January. And I need to remember ‘gentle’ when the season drags on.

  4. Without the grey days there would be no contrast….great little vases with end of season blooms. I have some roses too…amazing really. Each season seems to be different, and being a knitter, there is something to be said for cold days too!

  5. How very lovely are your photos! I can feel the chill! It’s been an icy weekend as we drove through Oklahoma and Texas. Much better now that we are in New Mexico! Wishing you a wonderful week!

  6. I’m very impressed that you went out into that weather, much less that you found beautiful roses in bloom! You winter photos are spectacular – and make me feel just a bit foolish that we’re shivering and complaining about temperatures in the 50s.

    1. Kris the winter scenes are from year’s prior…it has been snow-less here and in the 40s and 50s…the roses were still brave but not that brave! 🙂 50s where you are is cold…here it is warm!!

  7. Thanks for sharing your delightful words and photos, Donna, as always. And as well as your solo rudbeckia you chose roses and fern fronds too!

  8. I have love reading about your thoughts on winter Donna – I am always saddened by the general negativity with which winter is created – I love the chance to have more time and to make the most of indoor pursuits. I also love photographing this graphic season – I am looking forward to seeing more of your snowy weather – I can almost smell the snow as I look at your pictures from last year. I think we have all been making the most of our last flowers this week – vases will be harder to come by from now on I think!

  9. Both vases are pretty. I really like the jug you used for the rudbeckia. It has a nice silhouette. Thanks for your tips for enjoying each winter day.

  10. Beautiful words and pictures Donna. I always slow down and breathe when reading your posts as you make me notice and observe.

  11. I enjoyed your many thoughts and quotes on winter, Donna. I especially enjoyed your glass hearts against a backdrop of icicles, brrr. It’s amazing you could still find some lovely roses. It doesn’t get as cold here but can have cold snaps, snow, and ice. I’ve tried to have a positive attitude towards winter, and do especially enjoy the festivities and fun activities, and freedom from weeding. But the way I still enjoy myself most in winter is by starting new little green plants under lights. (Soon!)

  12. What a wonderfully written post, and the photos are beautiful! We dodged winter this weekend and temperatures are back up for a few more days withou having to see snow. I’m not complaining, although I do love the clean emptiness of a nice snowfall.

  13. Donna, this is one of those ‘feel good’ posts exalting the virtues of winter. I have experienced the various moods of this season as you describe them but not really thought about giving them a name.

  14. Classy vase arrangements! Yes, it’s true: Winter has many moods. All our snow is gone now–it melted before Thanksgiving. And now it’s raining…a lot. Everything is so green, it looks like April instead of November. I wonder what December, January, and February will bring us. Happy winter, Donna. 🙂

    1. I thought the same thing recently Beth…seems more like early spring…seems December is going to be a warm but rainy month.

  15. Donna, as always, a lovely post! I love each of the seasons and look forward to each and every one’s arrival. My very favorite is whatever is the current one. My plan is to revel in winter as it arrives and cherish each day, wandering out with my camera, photographing the cold and the black and white woods, like pen and ink drawings.

    1. How wonderful to have you visit Brenda! Your winter plans sound lovely…we seem to have the same love for each season…enjoy the season!

  16. Donna, the March Blumenburg quote does put a new perspective on winter! This post is so beautiful. I have never minded winter, though I hate being cold. The secret for me is plenty of layers, and then I can enjoy the other aspects of winter. Not much snow here, but plenty of cold rain. Sometimes it is hard to celebrate the brown mush, but just when we are all going stir-crazy, the first spring bulbs are pushing up out of the ground. Just in time!

  17. Hi Donna, I’m glad you are trying to make something meaningful out of the blah days of winter, and will follow your posts on the subject to try better to deal with it myself, especially as January and February unfold. Thanks! -Beth

  18. rarely get to see snow in a landscape these days Donna so this winter wonderland visit was a treat – focuses the eye on the architectural bones that make your summer garden stand out. The only places I dislike snow are the mushed and frozen remnants on the pavements (sidewalks) – just waiting for a slip and breakage!

    Shortened days are the worst – just as my mojo is getting going, the sun goes down – I get cabin fever in London!

    p.s. the pink roses are so out of place now that they bring an extra helping delight

    1. I agree…slushy sidewalks are not fun. Yes I am having a hard time with the early dark days…but they will be over soon.

  19. What an amazing tribute to winter. Each and every quotation moved me and I especially appreciated your fine writing and lovely photos. I have more of a problem with fall, but the last two long cold winters were hard to get through. I do like snow but as you say the long strings of very cold, overcast gray days are what really get to me. We are experiencing more of a typical warm fall here in PA so maybe we will have a warmer and shorter winter with just the right amount of snow!

    1. I agree Carolyn they were hard to get through especially last year….a warm fall here now….so glad you really enjoyed the post!

  20. Thanks for reminding us about the beauty of winter. When it is gray and dull, like today, with no snow to lighten things up, it can feel oppressive. For me, the good news is that time seems to go much faster the older I get, so I know the season will turn before I know it. Appreciating the present moment is something I can do!

  21. Oh my gosh, look at all that snow and how beautiful it looks. I would be curling up on the comfy chair with a book and a nice cup of hot chocolate 🙂 In contrast your pretty flowers bring summer into the home. Gorgeous and so grateful you shared them. Have a wonderful evening Donna 🙂

  22. Donna, I love your white winter wonderland pics…..I love snowy days (mind you we don’t get them like that or often) and the words you used were beautiful.

    1. I wonder how this winter will play out Jason…it has been an unusual fall….so happy to have you joining in again with the Seasonal Celebrations.

  23. Lovely vases Donna – remnants of summer as winter knocks on the door! Lovely post. I will also be looking for a way to weather the many grey days ahead – with some baking, reading, and dreaming! 🙂

  24. I’m sure it must be tough, especially at the beginning of winter, to see it ending in spring and summer. I’m certain you’ll transcend the gray and cold, planning for the future of your gorgeous garden.

  25. Donna, a very beautiful and poetic post. Loved your Winter scenes and your positive approach. I hope it doesn’t turn out to be one of those exceptionally hard Winters.

  26. Brrrrr Donna. Now that I have arrived at my “Winter” destination, I must say I don’t miss Winter. I was feeling a little nostalgic before we left but now that I’m here with the bananas are blooming, and Monarchs and Fritillaries fluttering about … oh, I love this change of scenery! I hope it is a gentle winter with beautiful lake effect and less of those wicked winds for you and your garden, Donna.

    1. Sounds like heaven Kathy…enjoy. It has still been fall like here…or really early spring like with 40s and 50s and a few 60s and rain now…so lots growing in the garden. My garlic is out of sight already.

  27. An abundance of wisdom and a feast for the eyes Donna! Thanks as always for sharing the love up-close with I Heart Macro. I do hope you well send me a “patch” for this year’s Gratitude Quilt. Instructions are at the top of my blog 🙂

  28. I really enjoyed this post! (Which is a lot to say, as I read it while children were hanging all over me and chaos ensuing.) But you really captured the essence of winter, and I love all your aside comments! For me, the dark part of winter has become a challenge to overcome since moving to the Northeast, with a battle strategy carefully planned ahead of time. It is good to think about all the other, more lovely parts of winter too!

    1. Oh Indie how very wonderful that you could read this long post with the chaos around you….glad you have a plan for the dark days…they are the hardest.

  29. I hope we do get winter this year, more than in name anyway. Winter images are always so lovely. Christmas will likely not be white since temps are rather high. Today is in the 60s.

    1. I know my garden longs for a winter snow coat soon. And I love the look of snow. For Christmas, the long range forecast is for temps in the 40s although we may finally get about 6 inches of snow this coming weekend. We shall see. It will melt fast as it is still going to be above the norm temp of 33.

    1. Thanks Shirley for joining in again! I can’t wait to read your post. And yes it seems we will have more gray this winter with the warmer weather and rain instead of snow.

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