Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Foliage Followup January 2013 -- Frost!

I don't know if I can rightly call this a foliage followup, since I didn't post any pictures of flowers yesterday for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. The only plants flowering out there are a couple of sickly-looking supermarket primroses, shivering right down to their roots (like me, when I was taking these pictures).

In truth, the foliage would be completely unremarkable as well, if not for our frosty weather. The last few days have seen temps down in the low 20s at night, and struggling to reach the upper 30s during the day, even with the sun out. Frost is a great equalizer, it improves just about everything. It also provides a good lesson in micro-climates. Where does the frost strike worst? Where does it not strike at all, or just barely? And where does it linger longest, despite sunny days?

Oak leaves, hanging on

Callistemon subulatus

 Pink Muhly grass, planted this past fall

Seedheads of Panicum virgatum 'Blood Brothers" with frozen water droplets shining in the sun


Lavender and Carex testacea
Black mondo grass and Mexican feather grass

Geranium and thyme


Oak leaves and something prickly whose name escapes me (the tag is in there somewhere frozen into the soil, and I won't be reaching in to tug it out any time soon)

The back of a Heuchera leaf

Northern sea oats/Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium seedheads

Rubus lineatus

Yucca 'Bright Star" showing a touch of the pink edges it is known for

Frozen Lavender

'Fat Albert' Blue Spruce, with tiny frost threads in the needles

Agave ovatifolia

Agave americana

Wondering how mushy this will be when it thaws

Still with me? You stubborn, hardy soul.

Frost even improves the look of weeds...

...And twigs
Unfortunately the cold has done nothing to deter the dreaded string algae in the stream

I want you to know I struggled mightily against a semi-frozen brain to come up with plant names for this post. For some reason I wanted to call every grass Miscanthus, despite the fact that none of them is.

Pam at the blog Digging hosts Foliage Followup, on the 16th of every month, the day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Its purpose is to celebrate foliage, the under-appreciated, minimum-wage workhorse of every garden.

Go there now to see her post on Yummy Yuccas and to check out the other bloggers who have left links to their own posts.

Friday, January 11, 2013

An Overnight Dusting of Snow

I assured Nigel last night that no snow would fall.

 Hard as it is for me to admit in print, I was wrong.

But surely, I was only a little bit wrong.

 We had a light dusting overnight, on the roofs and on the grass. But nothing stuck to the roads.

Now, fog is drifting in and out -- one minute we have a glimpse of bright sun and blue sky, the next thick fog.

Our little weather station claims there is sun in our forecast. says the same thing.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Playing Around With a New Toy

I've got a new camera, a digital SLR. It's a Nikon D3100. So far, I've used the closeup function (the one with the picture of the flower), and the auto function, which makes it work just like my little point-and-shoot. Those are the same two functions I've always used on my point-and-shoot. Many, many (no, really, many) years ago, I took a course in photography, which helped me learn how to use my old Minolta SLR (before there were digital cameras, also before there was a child and a husband in my life). So, some day, maybe, I will learn to use more of the manual functions of this camera.

But for now, I'm going to keep using it like my point-and-shoot. Because I'm older than I was then, and my brain can only hold so much info.

I used it this morning to take more pictures of frost, and dead leaves.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


We had a hard frost last night, enough to turn the ground hard and crunchy under my feet. So what's the first thing I did? Grabbed my camera (oh wait, I did get dressed first, although I was sorely tempted to just throw my winter coat on over my nightgown and pretend I was wearing a dress), and trotted out there to take some pictures. I really wanted a frost this past December, when I was working on the December Photo Project. We got snow, but not frost, which is almost as good for picture-taking.

Now the sun is out, and the frost is gone. It's so ephemeral. Hope you enjoy the photos and aren't too bored if they all start to look the same.