A Yard Walk About: Cones, Stones, and Sticks

This morning I was inspired by a fellow blogger from the UK. I often read her posts just as I get up for the day, most likely due to the time difference. It is shortly past midnight here when I receive her blog via an email link because I follow her. She is a talented gardener, writer, and photographer. Although we’ve never met, I feel a connection to her posts, most probably due to our duality in our love for nature, plants, words, color, and photography. I would highly encourage reading her blog if her love any of those topics as well. You can find her at the The Mindful Gardener on WordPress.

Today, her post was on the gift of frost. Upon awakening, before even looking outside my window, I read her blog and was inspired by the words and photos that she shared. Today is supposed to be in the upper 40’s here, so odd for a mid-western day in early January.  By the time I padded to the kitchen just after 7:30 a.m., the sun was shining brightly but there was remnants of a glistening frost on our deck and beyond in the coulee.

I wanted to see more. So, donned with my coat and boots, I grabbed my little point and shoot camera to head outside. My DSLR camera, has recently been absconded by budding artist as he was finishing an oil painting for his girlfriend and starting some customized sneakers to sell. The camera made it back inside (from his studio in our barn) but the battery charger did not. I still need to retrieve that today.

So, my photos although not terrific, still captured some of the beauty of the frost that so inspired me from The Mindful Gardener’s Post.

Starting out front, near our sidewalk entryway, I was able to grab a few shots of some Black-Eyed Susan stems that were left for winter interest.

Frosted Black Eyed Susan Stem, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019
Sticks and Stones. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

Progressing around the western edge of our border gardens, up close to the house, the Red Twig Dogwood caught my eye. A relatively new specimen plant in our front garden, it has grown and flourish in the two years we have had it. The red of the twigs was striking today as some appeared frosted, while others did not.

Red Twig Dogwood, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

Rounding the corner, to the north side of our home, the crows sitting atop the tree in the dry creek bed were disturbed by my presence.  Caw, Caw, Caw was their response!  I just smiled and shook my head, thinking “calm down, I’m not here to bother you!’

January Crows. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

Stopped on the sloped north side, I noted ice still clinging to the large stones with have placed for drainage at the base of a retaining wall. Pretty, and maybe due to the location, the ice will survive today’s warm up.

Snowy Stones. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

From this vantage point, I could not help taking a photo of our home fruit orchard in all its winter stillness, too.

Home Fruit Orchard in January, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

Around to the back, I went. Two years ago April, we lined our property with Norway spruce trees to help shield the pending, adjacent housing development.  Most of the trees on the east side of our yard that line the back looking into the coulee. But, while ice skating over the Christmas holiday on a new retention pond, also beyond the east part of our property (that is supposed to drain), I noticed that some of the new Norway Spruce have pine cones this year!

Norway Spruce Cone. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

Did you know that the word conifer, means cone-bearing? It is within the pine cones (somewhat of a misnomer, since this is a spruce), that the trees seeds are formed!

Soon I circled around and caught a few thistle heads peeking up through the Prairie Dropseed Grass in one of our large gardens under twin maple trees on the south side of our yard. Not a great capture, but one stolen just hours before my husband decided to clean the beds.

Misplaced Thistle. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019.

Lastly, I arrived at the south side of our house where I have my common milkweed patch. But, I did clean that up in the fall so there is not much to see. One of the several hydrangeas we have  is near that garden. I was able to capture the amber-spice brown of the dried flower stems.


This concludes my January yard walk about inspired by a fellow blogger. Unfortunately, I think I should have ventured out into the yard about an hour earlier to really capture the frost. But, it is January, there will be plenty of chances to catch frost and snow in the weeks ahead, but maybe none as nice as today!

6 thoughts

  1. Oh wow! Talk about kindred spirits. I had to click on this post bc I’ve written about yard walks, my frosty garden AND I follow a The Mindful Gardener, too! Happy 2019! I really enjoyed the peek at your yard. Your pics put mine to shame. Love the orchard and the conifer lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your observations on your frosty garden, Carol. It is really worth leaving the seedheads on the plants for winter, isn’t it? I love the warm spice of those milkweed blooms. It is lovely too to see your well-tended apple orchard!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brrr…I could feel the cold air and see my breath as I viewed your photos. I love frost pictures…remember the artful designs ‘Jack’ would leave on single pain windows? Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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