Crystalline Garden

Clouds gathered by early afternoon from the mist generated by our evaporating ice.

Clouds gathered by early afternoon from the mist generated by our evaporating ice.

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There is a tiny crystal hummingbird which hangs each year on our Christmas tree.

I’ve collected little spun glass and crystal ornaments through the years, and love how they look at night as the white twinkle lights animate them with that special glow against the dark green of the living evergreen tree.

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Although they are put away for another year, our garden was all encased in crystalline ice this morning and illuminated by the rising sun.

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Snow fell in the early hours, but by sunrise those clouds had blown away off of the coast.  A light dusting left behind lit up for a few moments by the rising sun shone like fairy dust.

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The sun’s rays brought with them the tiniest bit of warmth, and by mid-day our forest was filled with dripping water and the metallic sounds of cracking and falling ice from each twig and branch.

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Evaporating ice first gathered as mist, and then puffy clouds filled the sky, blocking out the sun.

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Everything here is wet and cold.  Our saturated ground squishes beneath our feet with every step in the lower garden.

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As Robin so beautifully observes in her post about the ice storm, we have a taste of true winter this January.

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Our normally mild, mid-Atlantic coast winter has transformed into  this frigid cold ice coated taste of  “real” winter.

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Friends from Massachusetts to Minnesota must be laughing into their thermal mittens by now.

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This is “business as usual” for them, only they enjoy ice storms on top of feet of already accumulated snow.

But this ice storm is a rare treat for us.  I haven’t seen ice like this for nearly 20 years, and may not see it again for a while.

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So I was the idiot going outside this morning with a raincoat and jeans thrown over my pajamas, camera at the ready to capture every bit of beauty we could find.  My partner and I walked together through the garden, sharing the wonder of it.

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Yes, he wandered off to cut more of the falling bamboo off of the lilac shrubs after a while.  We’ve taken a few “hits” with broken shrubs and lost branches. 

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But that is the way of things in a garden.  Every season takes its toll,  just as every season brings its wonders.

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Our crystalline world delighted us with its delicate beauty, even as the heavy ice clinging to every surface caused concern for the damage it might do.

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But it is mostly melted now.  Tomorrow’s sun will erase any ice which lingers overnight.

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We’ll be back to our mild Virginia winter by Saturday morning.

But I’ll be thinking of friends to the north, whose wintery weather “stays a spell,” and wishing them safe passage through all of the icy days ahead.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

“Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:

1. Acceptance
2. Understanding
3. Appreciation

Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart.
Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions?

So,  for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole.”

Vera Nazarian

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Bejeweled

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Bejeweled, bedazzled,

Cased in glittering ice;

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Every leaf and stem ornamented

With shimmering bagatelles.

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Buds magnified

Through clear coats of cold;

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April’s promises preserved,

Protected,

Perfectly presented.

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Icy prisms deflect the light;

Reflecting, not refracting;

A frigid glow on wintery  fog.

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Crystal clear coating coagulates

Out of misty air.

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Like dipping a candle, icicles grow

Thicker, longer, bumpier with each passing hour.

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Tinkling bells echo from garden to garden

As branches sway in the biting breeze,

And great ripping groans answer from the ravine.

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Symphony of sirens in the distance tell of travelers

Who have lost their way on glassy streets.

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A wicked wonderland, this ice coated world.

Weird and wonderful at once,

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Dazzlingly devious,

Dangerously delightful.

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Bejeweled and bedazzled,

Winter has dressed to thrill-

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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