April Sunrise


“Every sunrise is a blessing,
it’s a opportunity to learn something new
and to create something that can benefit others.
It also gives a chance to make amends.
Use it wisely before sunset.”
Euginia Herlihy



“Nature unfolds her treasure
at the first ray of sunrise.”
Kishore Bansal



“That time of day when the sun hasn’t come up yet,
but you can already feel it coming.
It’s an elusive warmth,
like a subtle promise whispered in your ear
and you can go on with your day knowing
you’ve been given another chance
to get it right.”
Cassia Leo
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

Winter Sunrise

December 12, 2015 sunrise 001



“In the beginning…
when ray and day hadn’t yet come into existence at all,
there was a kind of radiance that illuminates universe.
That radiance is the light of knowledge and goodness.
That radiance will persistently and consistently shines brightly
even after all the stars and moons in this vast universe died out.”


Toba Beta


December 12, 2015 sunrise 004


It continues an odd sort of December:  bare, but warm.  The leaves are mostly fallen now, exposing the intricate lace of bare branches against the sky.  Endlessly fascinating, this living filigree which shifts and changes from one winter to the next.

There were enough cold and frosty nights to wither most of the last of autumn’s perennials; but not all. 

In sheltered places flowers still bloom.  A few golden Susans and scarlet sage flowers linger still. 


December 12, 2015 sunrise 002


The season began its shift, then reverted. 

We haven’t had a frost now for more than a week.  And afternoons are balmy.  Each day grows shorter still.  But what gorgeous days of bright sunshine glinting from evergreens and berries.  Camellias and roses pump out bud after blooming bud.

We keep burying bulbs in the damp and yielding Earth.  And they have begun to grow.  Fresh green spikes poke up through the mulch and newly fallen leaves; over eager, perhaps, in this phantom spring.  Swelling buds on Forsythia and Magnolia bear witness to the garden’s confusion.


December 12, 2015 sunrise 007


And the garden calls us out day after day.  It called to me this morning before the sun had even crested the horizon.  And I went out into the damp and misty morning looking for the beauty of this new day.

Winter sunrise grows more precious as each day grows that much shorter.  We’ve almost glided down to the bottom of the year, still losing a few more seconds each day. 


December 12, 2015 sunrise 006


The sun returns a few moments later each morning.  But it returns, and its warmth adds sweetness to these brief, golden December days.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015


December 12, 2015 sunrise 005



“A Forest Garden 2016” gardening calendar is now available, featuring some of our favorite photos from 2015. 

Write to me at woodlandgnome@zoho.com for details.


Finding the Moon

December 20 sunrise 006

Again this morning, I was up and moving well before sunrise.  In fact, I was at the computer, watching for lightening skies through the window blinds when I was summoned.  “You have to see this!” my newly risen partner called. And when I followed the call, what beauty filled the skies.

December 20 sunrise 010It was a pink and golden dawn.  I found the camera and took photos of the trees silhouetted  against the sunrise skies towards the east.  But then,  looking around a bit more, was thrilled to find we had a 360 degree panorama sunrise this morning.

The sky was beautiful towards the north and west as well, where the waning moon was nestled in the branches of a tree.  Finally, I had found the moon.

Our shortest day of the year is tomorrow, with the sun not rising until nearly 7:30 in the morning, and setting before 5 PM.  The moon won’t even appear until after 8 PM.  The tea time hours darken so quickly this time of year, with night descending over the landscape with firm finality.  December 20 sunrise 012

I was on the road yesterday, racing to be at home before darkness had settled on our rush hour streets.  I was delayed leaving by only a few minutes, but still drove the last 20 miles in ever deepening twilight, straining against the glare of headlights to weave through traffic and find the way home.  My reward was the beauty of Christmas lights in front yards along the way.

As we approach this longest night, every minute of daylight seems that much more precious; and every brightly wrapped tree and lit window more appreciated.  It is a good time to gather with loved ones to celebrate the many joys and blessings of the year.December 20 sunrise 015

This solstice time is full of beauty and promise.  As surely as the sun and moon follow their tracks through the sky, so our days will lighten and lengthen yet again.  The buds will swell, seeds will sprout, and the new year will unfold.

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape, the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. 

Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.”

Andrew Wyeth

December 20 sunrise 017

All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013

PaintThe Sky  (Forest Garden)

Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

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