Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time to Pause and Look Back...

This morning as I look out the window from my second story office, my little kingdom below is glistening from the new snow. Surely there must be fairy dust sprinkled across the frosted landscape this beautiful morning. No photo could capture the beauty within my view. The outside thermometer that I see through my window tells me it is 7° F out there. Brrrr... yet still I can hear the chirping of birds greeting the new day. They are happy to see the sun peaking over the mountain and hopeful the sun's rays will warm their tiny bodies.  

The morning shadows from the branches of my honey locust tree are long and lean, reaching across the snow to my home where I sit warm and comfortable. Surely, winter is upon us. 

♥ ♥ ♥

But today on this last day of November
I choose to pause and look back, 
and reflect on our glorious Autumn of the season now past.

 It has been said that ours was the perfect Autumn.

The leaves gave a spectacular performance.

The temperatures were just right 
for hikes in our glorious mountains.

Connecting with Nature is always sweet tonic for the soul.

The colors of the Quick Fire Hydrangea 
became soft and enchanting.

The Purple Fountain grass swayed in the breeze.

The Virginia Creeper on my back neighbor's fence
unmasked it's vibrant colors.

The Flame Maples began their journey from green 
to yellow 
to orange...

to red.

We discovered that not only leaves turn red in our gardens.

And after waiting all summer long, 
the Chrysanthemums finally came into bloom.

Yes, this was a perfect Autumn.
 Now all that remain are sweet memories...

 and a pressed leaf from my tree
reminding me that ...

Life filled with love is always beautiful.

 ♥ ♥ ♥

During the course of my lifetime, 
I have learned that perhaps life's greatest joys 
are found as we take time to pause and look back, 
reflecting on the journey we've traveled. 

Even if it is just for a moment, 
it is in the looking back that we often see 
life's greatest blessings.

May you take the time to look back...

and reflect on the joy
that was always there. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snowflakes in the Morning...

I woke up this morning to snowflakes dancing in my gardens.

 The single digit temperatures of the past several days
have vanished the vibrant colors from my garden.
All seemed dark and rather dull.

And so this morning,  
a blanket of snowflakes is a most welcome sight.

An early morning peek through the trees
before the sun comes over my mountain...

reveal the tiny delicate snowflakes
that have accumulated throughout the night.

They bring new dimension
to everything they touch.

Soon the morning light through the clouds of the falling snow
begins to brighten the sky just a bit.

Enough to see the red of the Bloodgood Maple leaves
under their blanket of snow.

Only a few leaves remain
after the stiff wind that brought the winter cold.

And each one is treasured...
a reminder of a beautiful season now past.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Soft and Subtle Reminder...

A single red leaf from my Forest Pansy tree 
serves as a soft and subtle reminder 
to begin each new day 
with a grateful heart...

The warmth of the Autumn sun several weeks ago
coaxed a new leaf to emerge 
amidst the gold and green of the Autumn colors of the surrounding branches.

This beautiful tree's leaves bloom red in the Spring,
deepens to burgundy with darkest green veins in the Summer,
then slips into shades of soft hues of yellows and lime greens in the Fall.

What an absolute delight to look out my window 
and see this lone little heart
shining bright.

A simple and oh so subtle reminder
to feel the joy that only a grateful heart can bring.

♥ ♥ ♥

Wishing you all the joys of this 
Season of Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

what are you THANKFUL for?

random people on the streets of NEW YORK 
were asked one simple question...

          What are you THANKFUL for?

so... what are YOU thankful for?

Monday, November 15, 2010

November GBBD...I guess I'm in!

Woke up early this morning, just couldn't sleep.
Began to read a few blogs.
Didn't take long to realize, it's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Carol at May Dreams Garden graciously hosts this event on the 15th of each month.
Today is November 15th.
I've never participated in this charming event,
though I've always enjoyed reading the posts of some of you that do. 

"Why not jump in?" my muse whispered as she peeked out from the closet.

I giggled at the thought.
"Of all the months to join ... are you serious? In November?"

This is the view from my window this morning.

Bloom Day... and it's snowing in my gardens.

"That could be a snow blossom, couldn't it?"
My muse can be a persistent little creature.

I let the thought fill my mind for a minute or two...
"Fine", I thought to myself. 
"Let's go for a walk... in the snow... to see what's blooming in my gardens for Bloom Day."

"Yippee! But walk slowly and don't slip! You already have a crack in your tailbone."

More than once I wondered what I was doing out there in the cold and slippery snow. 
Thoughts of insanity loomed near. 
And then I saw this little bit of purple peeking out from the snow...

Sweet Alyssum!

I love Sweet Alyssum... 
The shades of purple blooms are especially enchanting to me.

I walked gingerly across the rocks,
planting each step firmly before moving on. 
"I will not slip, 
I will not slip."
Sometimes it helps to say it aloud.

I reached for the iron gate to steady myself...
Another purple bloom caught my eye!

 A Jackmanii Clematis!

I was thrilled a couple of weeks ago
to discover this beautiful clematis was reblooming.
I don't ever recall Fall blooms from this clematis in my gardens.

When the sun finally finds its way through the clouds to shine
it may actually fulfill the measure of its creation 
and open those snow covered petals to bloom.

White Zinnia Profusion!

I left a few zinnias in my perennial garden to provide seed for the birds.
Here's one that decided to bloom even though this is the second time
my garden has been snowed upon this season.
Looks like it took a snowball to the face.

 Sea Thrift!

Another favorite!
And obviously rather hardy.

Red Knockout Rose!
The last of the knockouts...
well I shouldn't speak too soon...
I thought they were through blooming weeks ago!
Each time it warms up a bit, another bud begins to open up.

 Plumbago with Seed-head!

The cobalt blue flowers of Summer
turn into delightful seed-heads in the Fall that seem to be a bloom all of their own.
The leaves become a striking crimson,
a rather nice contrast peeking out from the snow.

 Tree Rose (whose name escapes me)

That is not dew sitting on those petals,it is liquid snow.
This rose is a survivor.
Tucked close to the northwest side of my home,
it is somewhat protected from the cold winds and frost.
Will it live a few more days to open?
Only time will tell.

So thank you dear muse for the encouragement 
and for the morning adventure!

And thank you Carol for hosting!

I guess I'm in!

Now what in the world do you think will be blooming 
in my gardens come December?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Simply Amazing...

My slow morning walk in my gardens gave me pause... to enjoy the crisp Autumn air... feel the crunching of the leaves beneath my feet... and make time for much needed reflection... as the beautiful fallen leaves now carpet my grounds.

(Raking the leaves! Did I include that in my November! What I'm Doing in My Gardens list? Oh no... such thoughts of "tasks still to do" will not creep into my mind this quiet morning. This morning is all about reflection and peace and serenity... cue the deep breath.)

Ahh... a gentle breeze lifts the dappled leaves into the air
 and they swirl and twirl 
and dance about with delight.

Soft warm tones of bronze and gold and burgundy...
Autumn's best!

A bouquet of gathered leaves...
Pacific Sunset Maple and Flame Maple.
Which one is which?

Flame Maple (Acer ginnala ‘Flame’)

  Pacific Sunset (Acer ‘Warrenred’)

Both well named.

Random colored splotches
tickle my soul with wonder...

and a sense of joy and love...
a tender mercy sent from heaven above. 


Moving slowly today, November tasks will wait...
Time to mend... a silly fall has cracked my tail bone...ouch!
A joy to walk, even slowly, this Autumn morning, gathering the fallen leaves.
Imagine my surprise to  find a heart shaped blotch on this leaf.
It wasn't until after I had scanned it that I noticed this simple little heart. 

Have you ever received such a tender mercy?

Simply Amazing...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Surprise Change of Color

It's not just the leaves that are changing colors 
in my gardens...

Look a little closer...

See that little green caterpillar?

He came from the eggs 
of the Cabbage White Butterfly
that danced in my gardens in September.

Last week he was green, 
blending in beautifully with his lunch plate.

Today he is as crimson as can be!

 Is it something he ate?

 Could it be from the cold?
(Our temps dropped from 70° last week to 39° this week.)

I really have no clue...
do you?