Thought I’d look at my March images from last winter/spring so that I could share some more colorful, spring-like images. Well, there was snow on the ground then too. But only enough to coat the ground and still allow plant remnants to poke through. And look, the dormant shrubby remains have foggy water drops….no frozen snow.
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on March 7, 2014
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on March 3, 2014
Perspectives vary just as opinions vary. “Snow” evokes different feelings and moods. Children are barely able to remain in their seat when they see snowfall out a classroom window. Anticipation of heavy labor occupies the thoughts of many others. I usually see beauty, though admittedly this winter I’m growing weary of the accompanying COLD. This weekend we have a fresh five inches of glistening white, temporarily hiding the layers of crusted urban-soiled “old” snow.
One image here reveals the vastness of a desolate winter scene. Contrastingly, the bench and bleachers in the background remind the observer that at other times of the year this space activity fills this scene.
Dormant trees make interesting subjects, accentuated against their white background. The sprigs of new growth arising from the top of the mature limb mimics the stand of trees in the background. Repeating patterns complimenting each other and reinforcing the bareness of winter in the Midwest. The touch of sunlight colors the under limb providing a dash of warmth and hope for warmer days.
Chin up, weary winter friends who still, as I have a NEED to wear our boots. Look for fresh perspectives. Look up and down. Your images will be more imaginative and your outlook will stay “up”. March “should” go out like a lamb!
Posted in Garden, Nature, Photography | Tagged: desolate, dormancy, dormant, down, downs, illinois, Mansfield Park, Morton Grove, park, pattern, perspective, Photography, snow, tree, up, ups, white, Winter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on February 11, 2014
Hydrant (water source) covered with solid water (snow) copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
I show this as an oxymoron example while also realizing the importance of cleared hydrants this time of year when too often homes are ablaze from unsafe heat sources. Be safe everyone.
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on February 8, 2014
These evergreen trees were planted as a privacy wall by a nearby neighbor that faces an open field owned by Commonwealth Edison, our electric company. This winter, their matured growth serves as a sturdy barrier, collecting some of this record-breaking season’s wind-blown snow. What wildlife is huddled down inside keeping relatively dry and warm is left to my imagination; it would be unkind of me to disrupt the dense fortification to seek answers to my wonderings.
These trees are most likely American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘American’), used often for the purpose previously described: to act as a hedge wall. The brown elements showing through the snow are most likely opened cones absent of seeds.
For more information: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/thuja/occidentalis.htm
Posted in Garden, Nature, Photography | Tagged: arborvitae, barrier, chicago, cold, cone, defense, evergreen, field, Photography, pinecone, privacy, protection, seeds, snow, spruce, tree, wind, Winter | 2 Comments »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on February 5, 2014
The metaphor for the last stage of life is often winter. Winter is a time of less energy when chilled temperatures, shorter days, plant dormancy or death, and animal migration and hibernation. Animals settle in for periods of longer rest or become “snow birds” literally migrating to warmer climates. Annual plants literally die. Perennial plants and deciduous trees have less energy, so quit their work and retire. There are some, like some people, that seem have eternal energy, determined to thrive throughout the harsh winter months.
“Green” is the most obvious sign of an active winter species. Buds, the plant’s newborns, do not always wait for spring’s warmer days and more colorful settings. The evergreen White Pine hosts young buds during winter months. These youthful outgrowths are surviving sub-zero temperatures while blanketed by dense snow, which does indeed give shelter species from the arctic air.
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on February 3, 2014
Best guess, is sometimes the best I can do when it comes to identifying a plant species. Snowfall challenges my abilities further. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.) is my best guess for this common evergreen in our neighborhood. Most trees were planted in effort to provide green accents in newly built residential sites.
Though the 48 inches of January followed by yesterday’s 4 inches are trying the patience of the heartiest around here, the temperature was well above zero yesterday. We were a balmy 30 degrees (Fahrenheit), so I ventured out for an hour-long vigorous walk. Only half of our day’s snow total had landed, so I grabbed our waterproof Nikon Coolpix camera. I don’t mind walking in active snowfall; but I respect my lenses’ care needs. It seems that White Pine seeds prefer a moist environment, so I’m assuming their needs have been met this winter.
- For more details on Pine Tree types found in Illinois, check out: http://www.treesforme.com/il_pinus.html
- Check out this interesting blog/store http://www.pineconesplus.com/blog/2012/05/pine-cone-facts/
Detailed information on the Eastern White Pine: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/pinus/strobus.htm
Posted in Nature, Photography, Garden | Tagged: Photography, illinois, chicago, Winter, snow, name, tree, Midwest, pine cone, pine, White Pine, common, assume, assumption, needles, evergreen, snowfall, identification, suburb | 2 Comments »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on February 1, 2014
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on January 29, 2014
Below zero temps come to an end (not overnight, but at least during daylight), copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on January 28, 2014
Summer’s Coneflowers cast shadows on winter’s snow, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg