|Pink, Red, or Fuchsia?|
Most gardeners have gotten a catalog or two, or three…or more! Garden catalogs have their own language and after awhile one understands the lingo, but at first it can seem almost misleading. I wrote a page about deciphering catalogs a number of years ago. Garden catalog advice. Essentially the two major things to look out for are color descriptions and the florid hyperbole which leads you to believe that you just can’t do without this plant, and that, and yet another…. Colors like red and blue are the most problematical. I have my stories, do you?
In the old days, before we were all aware of the Photoshop software, (which I love to use for my own photos, by the way), you would often be tempted by the bulb catalogs that showed crocus, tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils all blooming together in a bouquet sort of clump. Real life never gives you that. Never in the garden… I suppose a talented indoor gardener can force the issue to produce something like that.
This time of year is a great one for the appearance of skunks. I don’t as much see them as sniff out their presence, and if you happen to have a curious dog- you might be giving a tomato juice bath in the near future. The poor skunks become roadkill this time of year, too. Their natural protection works against them when it comes to stupidly crossing roads in front of careless drivers -who always travel our back roads a bit too fast. I don’t know what the squirrels excuses might be, although they are in danger later in the year. I never see much of them until spring or later.
The odd combination of snow, warming air, and wide spaces makes for fog. Today, all day, the eye simply sees white as a soft cover of fog is upon the fields. The roads are fine and there is no danger, but the background is cloudy white from ground through sky. No horizons and only the charcoal colored trees are held in contrast against the great expanse of open fields.
|A February Day|
I was sitting outside in that pleasantly cold, yet still, type of afternoon common in this time of year, and the faintest tiny particles of snow were falling. I like the way that sort of snow feels on my face, and the texture of it accumulating upon the barn roof was as the finest sheared white velvet. It softly veiled the craggy bark of the maple which is deepest gray, while the backdrop of the sky was the tenderest dove gray. It was a vision of hyperbole, the effect of texture palpably impressing. The snow finely dotted the tree bark with delicate coatings on the upper sides of the branches, filling in the crooks and crannies with floury powder. I tried to think of a metaphor for that sky, but it eluded me. It was so soft and very homogeneous in color, maybe like a very plump mattress covered in silken cotton sheets of gray. Something of a comforting look to it, despite the gray of heavy skies. It was a still aftermath to the forces of nature that were experienced not so long ago. Feels like an age, now. Peace can be like that, I think; so blessed when it arrives, and all the worry and turmoil forgotten.
Maybe that is one of the things I most appreciate about winter… the peaceful enveloping quiet that follows the storms.
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© 2010 written for Ilona’s Garden Journal. Copyrights apply.