“When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves –
Welcome wool sweaters.”
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.”
Sometimes 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.
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.”
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!
“Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.”
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.”
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)
Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of RURAL, a free on-line magazine which is the creation of [email protected] 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.
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: [email protected]Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by [email protected]An English Girl Rambles and [email protected]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 [email protected]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 [email protected]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”
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
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.
Lovely roses! I’d love to get some snow. Snow is much better than the grey wet weather we’ve been having. Enjoy your week, Donna.
Agreed Gunilla…snow is so pretty!
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!
It does become tiresome Eileen….especially when the snow just keeps piling up.
Your pictures looks so beautiful again! We had snow too, but it melted away! Your garden looks like a winter wonderland! Happy Mosaic Monday!
It feels like a winter wonderland when it snows, but right now there is no snow here either.
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.
Gayle I love that idea too…‘gentle’ and ‘bright’….especially ‘gentle’.
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!
Exactly Noelle…the gray is perfect for contrast.
I love your wintry scenes and your vases are so pretty – the roses are exquisite for nearly December!
Thanks Ann….I agree roses in late fall are wonderful.
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!
I love NM…what a beautiful state!
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.
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!!
I love those elegant vases of yours that celebrate the end of autumn! Have a great winter, Donna!
Thanks Anca! Enjoy the winter season.
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!
I loved that we chose similar flowers too!
your post is an enjoyment to read; your pictures are beautiful; tfs!
Thanks so much Sue…so glad you enjoyed it.
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!
I am looking forward to a little more snow too…we have had very little…most unusual!
Let’s hope this winter is gentle on all of us!
I couldn’t agree more!
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.
My pleasure Susie…I inherited that little jug from my mother-in-law.
Lovely winter post…I love the cozy winter days by the fire, recharging for spring.
Oh that sounds wonderful ricki!
Your photographs are absolutely amazing and I enjoyed every one! You have certainly captured the very essence of winter and all its beauty.
So glad you enjoyed the post Lee!
Beautiful words and pictures Donna. I always slow down and breathe when reading your posts as you make me notice and observe.
Sarah that is the highest praise…much gratitude and big hugs to you!
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!)
Me too Hannah! I can’t wait to clean up my seed starting area and start again soon….
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.
Isn’t it unbelievable to have fall continue so long…still only a dusting here!
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.
Thanks Judith…glad you enjoyed it.
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. 🙂
I thought the same thing recently Beth…seems more like early spring…seems December is going to be a warm but rainy month.
Here’s my post, Donna: http://plantpostings.blogspot.com/2015/12/almost-wordless-seasonal-blessings.html. Christmas blessings to you and yours!
Thanks Beth for joining in…what a fabulous image…i would love to know how you created that image!
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.
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!
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!
I wonder if we will see early blooms this year too…right now it is cool and rainy.
You’ve done a beautiful job here of evoking the varied moods of winter.
Thanks so much Jean!
Personally, I like winter (and the other three seasons too), so I enjoyed this positive post.
That makes me happy…thank you!
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
Yes as the winter months move on it does become harder to deal with snow, cold and gray!
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
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.
Winter has it beauty…both harsh AND serene – as your wonderful images depict.
Exactly Anni…winter’s many moods!
Fantastic winter shots.
Thanks Rajesh…so glad you enjoyed the winter shots.
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!
I agree Carolyn they were hard to get through especially last year….a warm fall here now….so glad you really enjoyed the post!
Glad you enjoyed them Freda!
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!
That sounds like a perfect plan Eliza.
Beautiful roses–they make it all worthwhile don’t they? Thank God for books!
The roses were such a delight this fall Susan!
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 🙂
Oh that sounds yummy and cozy for winter nights Denise!
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.
So nice of you to say so Cath! Thank you….
Beautiful photos! We had our first blast of winter last week, but now all the snow is melted. Now there’s the possibility of more in the next day or two. Here’s my contribution. https://gardeninacity.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/minimalist-lawn-care/
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.
You presented winter at her best…but I will wait for snow for a wire…
It seems we will be waiting for snow for quite a while longer!
Wonderful winter photos and texts.
Your pink roses look enchanting and just think they are even fragrant. 🙂
Have a lovely Advent season!
Thanks so much Sara…wishing you a wonderful Advent season!
It’s lovely how you’re still able to have all these beautiful flowers even in the cold winter months!
It has been a very unusual autumn season.
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! 🙂
Sounds like a wonderful plan for your winter days Cathy!
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.
Absolutely Tina! Can’t wait to start planning and dreaming.
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.
They are calling for a mild winter Alistair…I am hopeful as last year’s was one of the harshest.
It has, even though I ran away to a warmer place for a week…
Relatively kind yet, just a little sprinkle of snow.
I apppreciate the fresh air 🙂
Ah yes…a trip away also is a great plan too!
This post is like a meditation. Beautiful.
Much thanks Mama Zen!
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.
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.
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 🙂
So happy to see you back Laura and I hope to participate again this year.
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!
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.
celebrating our southern Christmas with an Advent wreath, straw stars and a township tree.
Oh I love seeing your advent wreaths Diana…thank you for participating and I will jump over to read your post soon.
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.
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.
The gray! When we lived in New England I could deal with the cold easier than the gray which seemed endless. There are strategies including visiting one of several garden centers featuring acres under cover.
I’m joining in this time with a look at overlapping seasons.
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.
Only just posted, Donna. I believe I got in under the wire. No snow here yet so it’s a different posting. Thanks for hosting. P. x
Perfect Pam. Thank you for joining in. I am just finishing up the Reveal post. Looking forward to reading your post!
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