Saturday, December 30, 2017

Some Things Don't Change

Google it seems wants to remind me that some things don't change all that much. I'm still looking at grasses in the cold of December and thinking about bouquets.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Looking Back/Looking Forward

Looking back to the earliest blooms of this year offers a little comfort on this frigid December night. I'm looking forward to some similar sights only two months from now. It's sort of hard to believe these pictures were taken a month before spring began this year, but they were.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


December isn't the worst time to think about how things begin and end.  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Since It's December Again and You Still Arent Dead...

Since the first day of spring is a whole season away, you may as well embrace the winter.
There's bark to see and some  grasses that look pretty fine too.

And purple berries.

Friday, December 22, 2017

What's Past and The Future Outside Now

Among the plants it's easy to see how the seasons bleed into one another. The ghosts of the season past persist on the branches of a Japanese Maple above, while not far away in the same moment next spring's rhododendron flower waits out the winter as a bud.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sun Catchers

It looks like me and the grass seedheads are up to the same thing on these darkest days of the year, just catching some sunlight while we can.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017

For the Birds

It was really not so long ago that this pea-family tree was food for bees. 

Now it's for the birds. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Stars and the Trees This Season

If the legend is true, the stars are connected with the Christmas tree tradition as we know it today from centuries ago in Germany. Though people of all kinds had long used trees or parts of trees this time of year to decorate or celebrate a deity or the solstice, it's German theologian Martin Luther who is credited with first bringing the tree in the home to decorate with lights. The story goes that he was out for a walk one evening and struck by the beauty of the stars shining amidst the conifers and reproduced this natural sight indoors by bringing in a tree strung up with lighted candles.

(The Sweetgum on the other hand just wears the stars as leaves.)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Third Snowfall of the Season and Week

The unseasonable warmth of much of early and mid fall is a thing of the past already, much like the blooms on this rosebush. Winter temperatures are here again and the days are just about as short as they will get. We had our third snowfall of the season and week today and I glimpsed sunlight just for a moment or so on this mostly thick gray-sky day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Seasonal Sleuthing

It's time to play the what's still hanging off the trees game to see if you can figure out what you are looking at. I spy long seed pods, so I'm going with the Northern Catalpa, or Cigar-tree.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Another Self-Decorating Tree

This one has "ornaments" it almost looks like you could eat too.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Self-Decorating Trees (Sweetgum)

The self-decorating tree is much like the self-cleaning oven is what I'm thinking. What's not to love about the idea?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Free Deciduous Conifer Mulch and other Rusty Glimpses this Fall

I passed a garden bed of rusty needles at Hofstra not long ago which looked beautiful and also as if it had been deliberately mulched, though it hadn't been. Free deciduous conifer mulch, I thought, how awesome. I'm pretty sure the mulch had fallen from a Dawn Redwood as there was one nearby. (Not the Dawn Redwood pictured below which I passed another recent morning and which hadn't shed all its needles yet.)

In keeping with this afternoon's theme of things you might mostly think of as just being green like a conifer, some little blue stem grass I passed was looking pretty fine wearing its fall and winter hue.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

First Snow

According to a Japanese Maple I know and I think I can trust to give it to me straight, it's snowing.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Who Needs Magic when it's Paperbush Bud Viewing Season?

Who needs magic when outside right now there are flower buds dangling off the ends of Paperbush branches as if to say, "I dare you to find a Christmas ornament on any tree this beautiful and fierce?" There's a 38 percent chance of snow this afternoon and I bumped into a Paperbush this morning!

Paperbush flower buds early December, New York

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

New Catkins in December

And from much earlier in the year, below, what these new catkins will look like come April and spring.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Early Bloomer or Late?

It's late in the year for new blooms. Something blooming late this year is probably blooming a bit on the early side. I'm pretty sure the Mahonia is listed as a late winter bloomer. It's not quite winter, though the forecast for this weekend looks pretty wintry.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Leaf of the Week

Most of the skyline is leafless now, but there are still some trees and shrubs with fall color this early December. This oakleaf hydrangea is looking pretty sweet right now.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Like a Potpourri Underfoot

With Eastern Prickly Pear Fruit, Sweetgum seedpods and some other autumn lovelies.

Friday, December 1, 2017

What's Happening Outside Now?

As usual when it comes to plants, much more than you might think is possible.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

At November's End

The Stewartia still has leaves,  the weather is mild and the moon is waxing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Dad's Hydrangea in November

One day I should check to see if I have a photograph of a hydrangea in some stage, whether leafing out, in bud, a bouquet or dried in winter from every month of the year. Maybe not, but it just might be close.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Leaf of the Day

A Japanese Maple wins the Leaf of the Day award this Tuesday near November's end.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Fall Colors Still

It's been more than two months now with the colors of fall in New York. I guess if the daylight hours have to be short, the trade off is fair enough. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

In Lieu of Flowers...

Seedpods, which seem to be dancing in the sunlight, are appreciated. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fothergilla This Fall on a Sunny Afternoon

And a throwback below to Fothergilla in bloom this spring on an overcast day.

Friday, November 24, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It was the weekend before Thanksgiving when I first heard Christmas music this year in a tv commercial and then in some stores tuned into lite fm stations. But certain trees were already making it look a lot like the holiday season.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On the Walk Home in the Dark, This

A Japanese Maple under a light. It doesn't take much.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ag Class Sunflower!

Some people know how to give me a little thrill. I received a picture of this sweet harvest from my nephew's ag class just the other day.

Monday, November 20, 2017

What Dares to Bloom Now? Witch Hazel!

Though I tend to be impressed by most plants, I really have to give it up for one that is fierce enough to dare bloom after the first frost of the year. Our native witch hazel blooms today.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Is the Year Flying Fast or is Time Crawling?

It's still autumn in New York according to my calendar. Soon enough most of the tree canopy will be bare branches and buds, but for now leaves are still in the picture.