Hardy resilience…

Tough and strong are not the usual adjectives used to describe Daffodils, yet they perfectly describe their nature. Their bulbs are considered lasting in the garden because they are ignored by squirrels who prefer to dig up tulip bulbs. My focus on these spring beauties is on their stem and flowers’ resilience. Warm days followed by snow are typical of Chicago’s springtime weather. This can test both the heartiest Midwesterner as well as spring blooming plants who all seek the warmth and cheer of springtime sunshine.

Over the years I have learned to resist running outside to rescue daffodils lying on the ground frozen in a coat of white. It seemed a kindness to cut them, place them in a vase filled with warm water, and set them nearby to ensure their beauty would last a few more days. I underestimated their resilience.

These images show their falling blooms under the weight of fresh snow and ice followed by their return to upright stance and brilliance the following storm-free day. This analogy serves me well when I feel that trials are weighing me down. They may melt away in time if I stay strong. This spring these blooms have survived three consecutive rounds of sun and snow followed by more sun. Wow!


Snow toppled Daffodils. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

White Daffodil under frosted snow. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

White Daffodil in the sunshine after the storm. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Yellow Daffodil weighed down with snow. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg


Hardy return of Daffodil’s blossoms. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Memories in bloom…

Springtime represents many new, fresh things: rebirth, fresh starts, happier days, youth, hope. I have been negligent in my blog posts this winter due mostly to multiple major projects happening at the same time in my life. I am humbled finding that during my absense I have increased in “likes” and followers. I admit that your positive responses inspire me to keep posting since my purpose of this blog is to share nature’s wonders.

The Crocus in the foreground has appeared each spring in my posts. It was the first bulb planted when we bought our home 30 years ago and it faithfully brightens spirits when winter’s toll has me yearning for a sign of spring. This avid gardeners has planted more Crocus over the years. But this one old Crocus holds a special place in my heart each time it re-appears. Seeing an old, fathful friend offers a warmth that new discoveries cannot quite match.

Faithful Crocus Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Enjoy the wonders of each new day…

Happy New Year to all my followers. YOU make this blog fun to continue. May you SEE all the beauty and miracles in the details of every day life.

Wonder-filled details of a Waterlily. One of many daily miracles around us. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Wonder-filled wishes…

On this suddenly-wintery, ice-stormy day, I found myself browsing through images of warmer fall days. This Hydrangea portrait struck me as appropriate to share with you as I send belated, but warm Christmas greetings (the bloom looks tree-like to me!) and wishes for a wonder-ful New Year.

…..Christmas tree – ish….

Fall blooming Hydrangea at Chicago Botanic Garden. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Dense stillness…

Quiet moments gazing at the wet forest floor that edges Volo Bog. Still and single in color, yet richly active with textures and diversity. Mosses, ferns, mushroom, and more….

Fern standing above the forest floor. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Moss laden forest floor. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Mushroom signaling damp forest floor. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Cotton of some kind…

Bog Cotton, Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Bog Cotton (Eriophorum angustifolium) is the chosen nickname of this attention-grabbing seedhead found at the Volo Bog, north of Chicago. It’s more common name is Common Cottongrass or Common Cottonsedge. So I suppose, even though grasses, sedges and rushes are each unique in character, the “naming” rights are a matter of personal experience with the plant.

Today I share words from another WordPress sight I pleasantly discovered that succinctly states the differences between the three common marsh plant types. The following descriptor refers to the stem qualities:

  • “Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses have nodes where leaves are found.”

From https://meathecotours.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/the-bog-cotton-is-high/

Tail of a cat…

Cattails at Volo Bog. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg


Wet-feet loving Cattail. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Autumn is the time of year when Cattail (typha latifolia)‘s naming is most evident. This is the time of the year that the sturdy brown seed head bursts open to reveal the large fluffy mass of a “cat’s tail”. The Cattail, is ruggedly sturdy and tall, and as if to defy physics, the plants love wet feet, growing in marshy areas or at the edges of ponds and lakes.

It appears that the birds are unaware of the plant’s nickname. The soft fuzzy seeds are sought out as lining for many birds’ nests.

It is always a pleasure to recommend a fellow WordPress blogger’s posting: https://cattails.wordpress.com/facts/ They have more information than I would normally share on a species. Enjoy the read!