Our first snow day

A succession of nights in the low and mid twenties (Fahrenheit) in mid December has encouraged the reluctant Korean Sweetheart tree (Euscaphis japonica) into near dormancy. Finally. The remaining leaves, showing no coloring, look quite sad, and I’ll be relieved when all have fallen, though I expect no harm will come of it.

Today, the possibility of a major snow has fizzled, with the worst of it not too many miles to the west. Still, several inches are enough to cover the messy piles of fallen leaves. Silhouettes of trees and shrubs, and evergreens are enhanced by this snowy, white background.

While foliage of snowdrops has begun to emerge (a month early), no blooms poke through the snow. Remarkably, camellias’ flowers have not been damaged in recent nights, so many pink and white blooms are seen scattered through the upper half of the garden. Also seen are remnants of yellow, autumn (Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’, above) and late winter (Mahonia bealei, below) flowering mahonias that are showing color earlier than ever.

A variety of birds perch on the nearby tree lilac, waiting their turn to pluck berries from the Mary Nell holly. More often I witness this in late winter when robins will also grab a few of the nandinas’ bitter and mildly toxic berries (below).

11 Comments Add yours

  1. The English Gardener says:

    Love your photos as usual. We did get some ice and snow just south of you. This morning I saw a cardinal perched on a bare crêpe myrtle branch with the pure snow in the background.
    It was the highlight of my day, but it was 27° outside and I was not going to step out on to my front porch, (unlike you who ventures outside regardless of the weather), to take a photo.
    Camellias are definitely on my list come Spring.
    Happy Christmas and best wishes for the new year.
    Thank you again for brightening up my year with photos of your garden.
    The English Gardener

    1. Dave says:

      The snow wasn’t bad, but the ice is a nuisance.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Awesome! . . . but strange too. (I am not familiar with snow.)

    1. Dave says:

      After hardly a flake last year, yesterday’s snow and particularly ice reminds us of the nuisance it can be. This morning, the top of a twenty foot tall sweetbay magnolia is arching to touch the ground, and any evergreen with long branches is bent severely. Much of this will melt in today’s sun, and hopefully branches will spring back.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        When I first experienced snow at the end of 2012, I thought it would be fun. I mean, people go to the snow to go skiing. Well, it was fun (for me) when it first arrived. However, after it did not melt for a few days, I started to see why people who are familiar with it dislike it so. It was wet and cold, and became muddy, and stuck to my boots. It got everywhere. Ick! I still like it in pictures though.

      2. Dave says:

        Our advantage is that typically we warm up so that even deep snows melt quickly. This snow and ice has lingered for several days, but it will be gone after a few days of milder temperatures.

      3. tonytomeo says:

        A ‘few’ days is still too long!

      4. Dave says:

        A year ago we experienced few days below twenty degrees and none lower than ten. I’m happy to recall to the few who will listen my early days landscaping, with one night falling to eighteen below, and riding my bicycle to work in twelve below when we could afford only one vehicle. We should have at least a handful of nights below ten degrees, and perhaps a day or two plus or minus a degree or two from zero. I will happily accept fewer of these chilly spells.

      5. tonytomeo says:

        and I will happily stay on the West Coast of California!

      6. Dave says:

        I enjoy the change of seasons, but would prefer it lasted three weeks instead of months.

      7. tonytomeo says:

        Two weeks and six days would be better.

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