Sunday, November 30, 2008

December Muse Day: The First Snowfall

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

---Robert Frost

I have loved the poems of Robert Frost since I was first introduced to them in junior high, and this poem is my all-time favorite. The last four lines have always seemed to be the mantra of my life.
I hadn't planned on using this poem today, thinking it would be a good one to save for January or February when we were knee-deep in snow and opportunities for good snow pictures would be plentiful. But I awoke this morning to a surprising scene . . .
The first snow of the year fell during the night, creating a scene that was Christmas card perfect.

Despite the color camera, the landscape was a study of contrasts in black and white.

Just yesterday Husband mowed the lawn, and the helichrysum, left in the container for winter interest, was still alive.

Coneflowers now wear their winter hats.

The autumn pumpkins sport more than just frost.

No drinking from the birdbath for now.

Roco's memorial: A blanket of white keeps my dear
pet warm in his resting place.

While the living find the first snow the perfect playground.

The pine branches bow with the extra weight . . .

. . .covered with the perfect Christmas decoration.

The flowering crab is tinted pink today.

A dollop of whipped frosting on the berries for the birds.

A leaf frozen in time.

No need to worry about getting out of the lane, but on this day the house is a cozy retreat; the world can wait until another day.

Unlike the howling blizzards of January, this November snow fell silently and gently through the night, gilding the trees and the garden in shades of white on white.

No photo, no poem can re-create the magical beauty of this morning.

Garden Muse Day is brought to you the first of every month by Carolyn Gail; visit her for more poetry and thoughts on December.

Nancy Bond has sponsored the First Snowfall Project; to see more posts about the first snows across the world, visit here. (Wasn't I fortunate to combine both in one post:)? )


  1. I am envious all over again!! What beautiful pictures, I can't believe you have had snow already! We hardly ever get snow in this part of the uk, despite it being very cold at the moment. I would love it if we had snow for Christmas, it would make the childrens dreams come true :)

  2. Oh, wasn't it beautiful this morning? I couldn't get enough of it either!

  3. Oh Rose! Your pictures are stunning! I can just feel the quiet and solitude surrounding you in that blanket of snow. I love that Robert Frost poem too. Doesn't it just feel like life? ...and miles to go before I sleep.

  4. Rose,

    What a lovely post...beautiful photographs and beautiful accompanying prose!

    The Robert Frost poem is one of my favorites, too...I love to hear it recited...

    Keep warm and enjoy your beautiful snow.


  5. Your early snow pictures are magazine perfect. I exspecially like the pumpkin peeking thru. Thank you for sharing such beauty. TTFN

  6. Those are beautiful pictures. Snow makes everything seem so clean and tranquil. We had no snow here, just some rainy stuff and a bit a few flakes, so I was surprised those pictures are from today, since you are just one state over from me.

    And that's a perfect poem to go with your perfect snow.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  7. Dear Rose ... these are stunning photos, so glad you had your camera near to share the awesome moment, so fitting for Frost's beautiful poem. We had a dusting as my husband strung lights outside. You have set the tone for a magical holiday season!

  8. What beautiful pictures today Rose. I love the look of newly fallen snow in the garden. Your yard is a magical retreat today! Perfect poem for muse day, Frost said it all.

  9. First of all love the new header with that beautiful snow. Secondly those pics are just gorgeous. You definitely have winter wonderland going on up there Rose. Very rarely do we ever have snow like that and that's a good thing. Because if we did there would be no milk or bread at the grocery stores and tons of accidents because no one knows how to drive on that stuff. Thanks for showing us such beauty.

  10. OMG! It is so beautiful! The best kind-silent and heavy and surprising!

  11. Rose, Frost's poem is one of my very favorites, too. I often repeat the last few lines to myself as I am trying to accomplish many tasks at once. When did we first hear that one?

    Your pictures are Christmas card perfect and you should use one of them for that. And your new header is perfect for the season. Glad you were here for the first real snow of the year.

    As each granddaughter woke this morn, I had them go to the window and there were squeals of delight and, "Can we make a snowman!". I let 3 go out and the little 2 stayed in with me watching. Of course that brought on crys of 'No fair!', but they didn't really have snow gear.

    Now we just need to get all our holiday decorations up.

  12. Your pics are beautiful - so peaceful and serene.
    The first snowfall is kind of magic, isn't it? Even though we get tired of it as time goes on. But the first is special - and your trees show it!
    I loved that poem by Robert Frost. We had to memorize it in school - brought back memories....

  13. Oh Rose, I just love love love this post. Your pictures truly show a winter wonderland. Christmas card perfect. You should use one for your christmas cards. How could you choose??? And I didn't remember the entire poem by RF, just those last lines. Yet the poem is just wonderful. Thanks for such an entertaining beautiful post.

  14. Pure magic, Rose! Beautiful! I love a snowfall like this, particularly those piney boughs that almost groan audibly under the weight of that snow. :) I'll include this with the others tomorrow morning.

  15. Suburbia, Thank you. Rarely is our first snowfall this beautiful. I always like to have snow for Christmas, too; but believe me, by mid-January, I will be very tired of it:)

    Joyce, We had similar thoughts this morning, didn't we? It was hard not to go out and take pictures and just admire the scene this morning. Glad I took the photos before it started melting off the trees.

    MG, It was such a beautiful, peaceful scene this morning. And the Robert Frost poem is my favorite. When my children were growing up and I was working full-time, that is exactly how I felt:)

  16. Rose this morning certainly left it's magic for you to enjoy and photograph! Your photos are picture perfect..just like a from love these images!
    It seems as though you got MORE snow than we...BTW it is sleet and snowing right now..the wet stuff that freezes and makes everything icy!Good thing I cut back my precious roses!
    Stay warm!

  17. You have the most gorgeous property with all those lovely trees - just like a park! Makes me want to strap on some skis and glide around :) These photos are just gorgeous!

  18. Gail, Thanks; the Frost poem has a special meaning for me. Much of the snow melted off the trees this afternoon, but it's snowing again!

    Wanda, Thank you. I think today was the perfect "photo op," as they say.

    Carol, I was surprised, too, that other areas didn't get this same snow. Today's was beautiful; I'm sure we'll all be complaining about too much, though, by January or February.

    Joey, I managed to put up Christmas lights yesterday--a relatively warm, sunny day. So glad I did! It was too hard to resist going out to take pictures this morning.

    Racquel, Thank you; it did look as though someone had waved a magic snow wand over the garden and yard this morning.

  19. Susie, Thanks; I thought the new header was appropriate for the season. I understand what you're saying about snow in Mississippi. We were in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl 7 or 8 years ago, and the night before we left it snowed. Roads were closed, and there were accidents all around us. We thought it was pretty funny, since there was so little snow. But without salt on the roads or snowplows, it WAS dangerous!

    Tina, Yesterday I was out raking a few leaves, and husband was mowing the lawn for the last time. Today--this! Quite a contrast.

    Beckie, Mrs. D read this to us--along with several other Frost poems--in 7th or 8th grade. I still think of her as the one who instilled a love of poetry in me. I just commented on someone else's blog that all that was missing this morning were my grandkids, to see their reactions. How lucky you were to have them today!

    Wendy, I agree completely--the first snow is magical, and this one was so beautiful. But as the winter wears on...

    Lisa, Thank you. I was just lucky to get all these photos this morning, and once I started, I couldn't stop. I really didn't want to spoil the effect by my usual wordiness:) I think the last few lines of the Frost poem are the most memorable and meaningful.

    Nancy, The ironic thing is that I didn't have a decent photo to post for tomorrow's Muse Day...and then I woke up to this. My husband told me this was his anniversary present to me, but I think Mother Nature was giving the gift.

  20. Anna, Today was indeed picture perfect--a gift from Nature. I don't like the icy stuff, though, either.

    Amy, Thank you; I am very lucky to have such a large property--it's my sanctuary. I'm not a skier, but I've often thought about buying some snowshoes!

  21. how incredible these photos are. simply gorgeous!

  22. Oh.... I ought to be thankful that we don't often get snow here, but I think your photos look lovely. Yes, snow definitely looks good on photos.
    Liked the way you linked up with the poem, writing and photo content. Even the poet's name was Frost!

    I was out in the chilly garden yesterday chopping back clematis and got a whole binful of clippings quite easily in just 15 mins.(Garden waste recycle bin, that is.....)

  23. I love snow. Excellent pictures.

  24. Rose ~ What fabulous pictures! You have so much snow! And I love that poem as well. How very fitting.

  25. Oh, I forgot to wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving. I was so awed by all that snow! I've been out of the blogging world for a while and am finally catching up again :)

  26. Beauteous! The Cone flowers look like icecream cones plant. You've captured the serene snow beautifully.
    And, thank you so much for your kind words. Reading your concerned comments was soothing.

  27. Your photos are gorgeous! Looks like that here too.

    Robert Frost is my favorite poet too. I remember reading that poem for class. The teacher informed us it was a poem about death. Of course I knew it was not;)

  28. Marmee, Thank you. Although it was beautiful here yesterday when I took these photos, today is another story--blowing snow and icy roads. Not so much fun.

    Maggie May, I didn't even think about Frost's name:) This kind of snow is beautiful and makes for fantastic pictures, but be thankful you don't have too much of it. Today driving is hazardous. I think my gardening work is done for awhile!

    Antigoni, Thank you; glad you stopped by!

    Cindy, We just had a couple inches, but more is falling today with a forecast for more the next few days. I'm satisfied with just a little:) Thank you--hope you had a good holiday, too!

    Chandramouli, Thank you; I do hope you are safe and sound now.

    Marnie, The first snow is always beautiful. But we Illinoisans know it's not always so pretty:)
    I think our interpretation of a poem changes as we get older.

  29. I love your snow photos! They are so enchanting.

  30. What beautiful photos. We had a snow covering like this too. Isn't it magical?

  31. Rose, What a snowfall! And how magnificently captured. Very clever of you to get a double posting. We are entering winter much more gradually, although I admit to a layer of slush this morning. My post is up as well - pre-slush.

  32. I am not envious Rose......but I have to say your images had me totally fact I have been showing Mr P, we both felt the same, quite magical the whole scene. I loved the poetry and can see why it is one of your favourites......I like the simplicity of this post.......

    We still have rain, cold rain, and the garden has huge puddles everywhere.......some of the ditches are overflowing onto the road.....winter is here, looks like we are going to have a wet and cold one.......

    Enjoy your snow.......have fun.......

  33. Wonderful photos and poem , Rose. I, too, love Robert Frost and the poem you chose. Thanks for joining us on Garden Bloggers' Muse Day.

  34. Wonderful photos! I love this poem, too. :-) You have received a LOT more snow than we have. But, I'll wait. ha.

  35. MMD, Thanks; I see you have snow, too. I'll be over in the morning to check it out.

    Brenda Jean, thanks for dropping by. Yesterday's snow really was magical.

    Pat, Thanks...the snow may be heading your way.

    Cheryl, Yesterday really was beautiful. I was just lucky to get all these photos; today is another story. It's the kind of messy, dangerous snow you don't want! I purposely didn't write much--unlike my usual self:) I thought the photos said it all.

    Carolyn, I intended to include this poem some time; the snowfall yesterday just happened to be perfect timing. Thanks for hosting this.

    Shady, I'm wondering why we got all the snow! But I'm sure you'll get your share this winter:)

  36. Hi Rose,
    You've captured beautiful photographs, but I know nothing is as perfect as being there. I'm not facing snow, yet--but your photos almost make me wish we had some! I hope our first snowfall is that peaceful and lovely! Jan

  37. Oh, thank you so much for showing us all how lovely winter can be!

  38. Goregous photos. It's funny - that is one of my favorite poems and I too have always felt that the last four lines are the mantra of my life.

  39. My goodness Rose, what a perfect winter scene! The touching tribute to your beloved Roco looks especially magical too. Robert Frost is a favorite of mine too, what wonderful words, those last four lines. Your own words were sheer poetry also.

  40. What a perfect dream-land, Rose! We are miles away from it right now, and I couldn't be happier. Sorry! I love that coneflower pic. The heads look like palace guards with white hats instead of black. I would love to have some of that helichrysum. Where did you get it? It's quite a valuable plant for its oil (essential). Wish I could grow acres of it.

  41. Thanks for 2 Day; it was a perfect snow, but later snows may not be so beautiful! Thanks for visiting.

    Julena, This just happened to be perfect timing. Thanks for visiting!

    Green Bean, I don't think we're alone in living by those last few lines:)

    Frances, Thanks for such kind words, and for noticing Roco's memorial. One of these days I'm going to do a post on it.

    W2W, Helichrysum is an essential oil? I didn't know that! I've found it in several of the garden centers each spring. I like the image of the palace guards:) Actually, by tomorrow I will be miles away from the snow, too--I'm leaving for Arizona in the morning.

  42. Oh Rose, absolutely picture perfect. You can make your own Christmas cards from your photos now. Very beautiful ... a real winter wonderland!

  43. Love your gorgeous photos. The poem is also one of my favorites also. Not sure if I like this one or 'The Road Not Taken' the best. Anyway, the poem is perfect for your snowy photos.

  44. Dear Rose....just had to pop over and say have a wonderful time with your daughter.....I am sure you will do lots of fun things and spend quality time together.....

    Travel safely and look forward to hearing all you news.......

  45. Contact a calendar company, Rose! Your photos made me yearn for the old days and snowy mornings. They're artistically done and very pretty.

    Be careful out there!


  46. Your pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I live in Texas and snow is a rare treat here.


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