Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ABC Wednesday and The First Snowfall

For this week's ABC Wednesday's letter Y, I had planned to post my New Year's resolutions. But then I started thinking, would anybody really want to read them? I doubt it, since they are the usual--go on a diet, eat healthier, exercise regularly, etc. etc.--and I've usually abandoned them by January 31 anyway.

I'm not feeling very creative this week, so how about a little frozen Yarrow instead?

And while we're at it, I could show you some pictures of our Yuletide snow. Yes, that's the best subject for today; besides, this will give me a chance to also participate in
Nancy's "First Snowfall Project."

The first appreciable accumulation of snow fell here in central Illinois on Christmas Day. The flakes became larger and heavier as the afternoon turned into night and continued over the next two days. In all, we had probably around two inches of snow--just enough to create a blanket of white. When the winds picked up, the fluffy flakes created some problems, making the country roads "snow-packed and hazardous" (the news' term for "be careful!") and keeping Hubby busy for three long nights driving a snowplow.

For the Midwest, however, this was a mild snowfall. Unlike our Southern neighbors and those in the Northwest, we Illinoisans are used to snow, and our highway departments are prepared for it. Salt trucks and snowplows are out round the clock until the highways are clear. Fortunately, the weather had little impact on Christmas travel.

There is something magical about that first snowfall. While not as pretty as our first in '08, which occured a month earlier, there was still beauty to be found all around. The small flowering crabapple tree, a favorite haunt of the birds, took on a new look.

The few remaining red berries made a bright contrast to the blinding white of the snow.

A covering of white turns tree trunks into winter sculptures.

The old gnarled apple tree shows its character.

Needless to say, there was frost on the pumpkins. No, these were not part of my Christmas decorations. My children often tease me, "Just how long are you going to leave those pumpkins out, Mom?" My answer to them now is, "As soon as it gets warm enough so this one's no longer stuck to the step!"

Frozen pansies probably need to be added to the compost pile, too. I doubt if they will be in bloom for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day:)

Nor will anything else in my garden be blooming by mid-January.

Coneflowers stand at attention . . .

. . . their furry white winter chapeaux now completely covering their ears and faces.

Surprisingly, the roses still show some green foliage in spite of the chill.

Golden Retrievers must be related somehow to Siberian Huskies. Sophie seems undaunted by the cold and loves the snow, whether making doggy snow angels or searching for buried treasure underneath. It poured down rain on Christmas Eve, so that when the temperature dropped the next day and the snow began, puddles froze into a sheet of ice underneath the snowy cover.

One never knows what you might find underneath it all, a nice chewy stick or perhaps that toy left outside this fall. If nothing else, Sophie finds the snow quite tasty.

Even the weeds still standing behind the farm outbuildings
have a certain charm surrounded by white.

I have been trying to identify some of these weeds--er, wildflowers--since this summer and hope to show them in bloom one of these cold winter days.

I can tell you the name of this one, however--it's the noxious cockleburr. Innocent as it looks here, its pesky stickiness is to be avoided at all costs while dog-walking.

The bright winter sun creates interesting shadows and sparkles in the snow. Although we have seen the sun for most of the past week, we certainly haven't felt it--temperatures have been hovering near 0 F. each morning.

Cornstalks stand frozen in place until the spring thaw when the fields will be worked again. I feel sorry for those farmers who might still have some unharvested corn--I can't imagine working in the fields in this weather.

And finally, my post on the first snowfall wouldn't be complete without a photo of frozen fennel once again. You may remember I wrote a poem about it and the rest of my flowers in the winter garden a few weeks ago. Since then, Brenda at Rinkly Rimes, the Muse for that poem, has posted a much better poem which can be found here. Do check it out!

The first snowfall is always beautiful and a marvel, but I can assure you in a few weeks I will be ready for spring!

For other ABC posts, hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt, you can click here.

Also check out Nancy Bond's "First Snowfall Project" here--and why not join in?!


  1. Hi Rose, love the picture of the snowy lane lined with pines...picture perfect. We are due to get some snow this weekend....going to be a long winter.

  2. my english shepherd is the same way, loves being in the snow, laying right down in it to relax for awhile

  3. Ah rose, your way with words, and letters only gets better with each passing year! Lovely snowy pix, the corn rows are especially geometric. Sophie's love of snow is wonderful, no having to force her outside for winter walks.

  4. A Rose by any other name....

  5. Rose as beautiful as it is, it looks so cold. I can't imagine zero degrees. It's down in the teens this morning but at least the sun is shining.

  6. Beautiful winter wonderland pictures! I love that fairly open space with the hedge of White Pines and the Crabapple looks especially wonderful with the snow.

  7. There is something most magical about a white Christmas and the first snowfall. Sophie knows!

  8. Hi Rose, Everything looks so white and snowy and wonderful! It rained here Xmas eve, too... my street is a sheet of ice, now covered with snow. We seem to have gotten less snow so far this year than usual (as you) when so many other places, here and in Europe, have gotten MORE. I love the idea of doggie snow angels! Cats aren't that interactive (or as Fiona might say, stupid) with snow! LOL.

  9. Happy New Year! Thanks for the beautiful snowy show today! I doubt we will see snow other then in pics as we have only seen it one time in the 10 years we have lived here in GA. Although, it sure is cold enough to snow down here. I think I brought it back from TN with me. lol.... Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas with your family from cookie baking to cat nip toys and cardboard swords! I am glad your dad was able to tell a joke this year!

  10. Hello Rose,

    I love how the snow adds another dimension of beauty to the landscape and the dead flower heads. Truly beautiful.

  11. What marvelous pictures! Love the snowy lane, and plants all snow covered and beautiful. And, of course, love the doggie! Hope your new year is off to a great start, Rose! Enjoy! Stay warm!


  12. Janet, The snow seems to be flying everywhere! Looks like much of the U.S. is in for a big chill.

    Mark, Sophie loves lying in the snow, too. Brrr!

    Frances, You are too kind. The only problem with Sophie's walks right now are convincing her to go back inside--I'm freezing! Yes, that line from good old Will has special meaning for me:)

    Susie, You bet it's cold here! The sun is shining, but I can't feel it:)

    Sweet Bay, The row of pines is actually at the edge of our yard, bordering the fields.

    Tina, I agree, but I'm sure I will be tired of snow by February.

    Monica, I know--it seemed it was snowing everywhere but here weeks ago. The cats here have gotten rather spoiled--preferring the warm garage or the house whenever possible rather than "play" in the snow.

    Skeeter, Welcome back! Yes, we had a wonderful Christmas, and the snow was the icing on the cake, so to speak.

    Noelle, Yes, the snow adds that much desired "winter interest" to an otherwise dead garden.

    Sylvia, I'm enjoying the snow, but not the cold. Heavy sweaters are the order of the day:)

  13. Beautiful pictures. As for me, we're in the middle of the worst snowy, freezing weather for 30 years.

  14. Hi Rose.....the winter photographs are charming and do most certainly look quite magical. The last is my favourite, such a beautiful picture....

    We are in the middle of an artic blast, which they are saying will last ten days. Most unusual for my part of the world....winters are mainly wet and windy. I do not like this artic blast!!

    Nella loves the snow......and rushes out with mounds of enthusiasm.....then she rushes in, bringing a flurry of snow with her......lots of grubby towels around at the moment....

  15. Yowsah! You have some great pictures (and more so than we, not that I'm complaining.)

  16. Gosh, some fantastic photos there, very artisticly taken, you are so talented. Loads of snow forecast here for tonight.


  17. Beautiful wintery scenes, Rose. I like the frozen yarrow...and the corn stubble. The snow makes everything look so pretty.

  18. I love your picture of the coneflower seedheads; I think that plant and sedum are both beautiful in the way they catch the snow.

    And tell your husband "thank you" for his efforts on the road crews! I have a great appreciation for the way they make our lives easier.

  19. Love, love, love all the shots. the first one of the Yarrow in the snow is a real picture postcard. Great composition.

  20. Rose, I love your snowy photos - also, your 2008 post with Roco's Memorial - particularly beautiful!

    We haven't had a snow fall here yet; it doesn't happen every year, but it sure is pretty when it does.

  21. Very lovely post I like it very much and your photo is great! Thanks for sharing.


  22. Gorgeous selection of photos here! Thanks for stopping by my blog to comment. Hopefully the next time you make it to this neck of the woods you have time to do some exploring!

  23. My gosh, your photos are absolutely fabulous! Some are actually award-winning quality. Did you notice that the tree trunk actually looks like the letter "Y"? I think my favourites are the corn stalks and the last two, although it's a difficult choice among so many great shots! You have managed to make cccccold snow look almost inviting! :D

  24. Your photos are beautiful! I love the shadows and contrasts. They made me remember that winter is lovely, despite these awful temperatures we've had lately!

  25. Beautiful photos. Sophie's adorable. Last year at this time we had 70 some inches of snow, this year 14 inches of rain and only a couple of traces of snow. Ended last winter with 92 inches of snow, so I'm rather glad for a break! It is beautiful, though.

  26. Your snow is so pretty. I LOVE your project. Perfectly BRILLIANT : )

  27. Wow, what beautiful snow. Sophie and Luna would get along just fine. Luna loves the snow too.

  28. I especially like the crabapple, but all your pictures are beautiful Rose.

    There is something magical about the first snow, - and sometimes the second one. Past January though we look for signs of spring...

    I have a pumpkin to match yours, and some yarrow, too!

  29. I like the frost on the pumpkin and all of your great Yuletide snow photos! My dog loves the snow, too.

  30. Beautiful wintershots!:-)
    Wish you a great day!

  31. Hi Rose! How pure and clean the first snow is! I love seeing your photos1 We have had some snow again, but not as much as we had last time. Thanks for your visit! Happy New Year!

  32. Rose, you have certainly captured the beauty of snow/winter with your photos. I especially like the one of the snow on the branches of the evergreen. And, of course, the pictures of Sophie are always winners.

    This Wisconsinite has enjoyed the Illinoisan's post:)

  33. Dear Rose,
    Happy New Year.
    I too am under a frozen blanket of snow. We have received over 8 inches since Christmas and more is on the way today. I do not mind the snow, good winter moisture, it is the cold that gets to me.
    Going out to tfeed the birds is ahuge production just getting dressed.
    Your snow photos are lovely. Snow does make for beautiful photgraphy!
    Hope you stay warm and be careful on the ice.

  34. Beautiful photos. We are looking for another big snow tonight. Up to 9 inches. We still have two feet on the ground from the last snows.

    It makes me sad because some of the wild animals are in distress. I hope you don't get much snow tonite in your area.

  35. Anthony, I have seen lots of photos of the snow in UK recently.

    Cheryl, I love the snow, too, but not the cold--we're going to have more of both this weekend. Yes, my entryway floor is always full of paw prints these days:)

    Roger, We're in for much more snow the next two days!

    Suburbia, Thanks, but my photos are usually the result of luck more than skill:)

    Carol, Yes, even the ordinary looks better with snow.

    Joyce, Hi! Hubby appreciates your thanks. Looks like he'll have more nights to work this week.

    Photowannabe, Thanks, but the snow makes it easier to get some artistic-looking pictures.

    Amy, Thanks, and thanks for checking out last year's post! That snow was picture-perfect.

    Kim, Thanks for visiting once again this week!

    Hood Photo, I've already told me daughter when I visit, I want to do some sightseeing!

    Leslie, Thank you for the compliment! And no, I didn't even notice the Y of the trunk--very fitting, isn't it?

    Rose, The cold snow is lovely to look at, but not so much to deal with, is it. Looks like we're in for another blast soon.

  36. Tumblewords, My gosh, that was a lot of snow! I certainly don't want that much this winter.

    Life, Thank you for visiting again!

    Lisa, I think Sophie would love Luna--Luna would probably teach her a few manners, too:)

    Hildred and Charles, I agree--the snow loses its charm after the second time around.

    Janie, I really need to throw that pumpkin into the compost:)

    Spiderdama, Thanks for stopping by!

    Reader Wil, We're due for more snow today and tomorrow--this time much more. I do love the pristine whiteness of it, too.

    Donna, You can understand that this first snow is pretty, but after that...

    Sherry, I couldn't agree with you more! It's the cold that gets to me--you are very kind to make sure all your birds are fed in this weather.

    Marnie, The snow is also headed here, predicted 6-7 inches. I think we have some wildlife camping out in one shed here--I'm not going to get to close to check it out, though:)

  37. I love your shots of the Crabapple in the snow. Don't you love how snow has the power to transform the drab to the extraordinary?

  38. Hi Rose,
    I loved so many things about this post, I'm not going to remember all of them to comment on. The yarrow and other close up shots as well as the landscape ones all showed the beauty of the snow and plants. Of course Sophie's photos are awesome, too. She sure does enjoy the snow! Heidi doesn't get into it as much as our other dogs have.

    I think my first snow fell before Nancy started the links. I participated in it last year. I could find my first snow and put a link, but I don't know if anyone new would find their way to see it or not.

    Thanks for your nice comments on my CC post. Most of my bird photos were through a window, and without my great zoom, I wouldn't be able to get them photographed. Now, I'll like to get a camera good for inside.

    We are home again today, due to the cold and yet more snow. We haven't been able to move Ashley's furniture because a car was snowed in right in front of the sidewalk. We were thinking of turning them in, but yesterday, I noticed a couple young women shoveling to get it out. She also needs to get over there and finish packing. She just spent her third night over there, sleeping on a couple air mattresses. It's hard to know how much to assist a 27 year old daughter who does not how to organize her time or anything else. It's been a struggle.

  39. It is time for the snow (and plenty) outside, but inside I'm longing for spring.

  40. Your snowy photos are beautiful, Rose -- I'll be putting up a link today. :) Thanks for taking part!

  41. What a great post! I love your frozen yarrow, and the crabapples and coneflowers are both very pretty.

    Sophie made me laugh. Sid, being a greyhound, loves the snow, but doesn't hang around outside in it. Once his walk is done, he wants IN for his treat and his bed - and while he's out there, he wants his fleecy coat on!

    So much to comment on here. The cornstalks are my favourite of your photos. If I'd taken that gorgeous shot, I'd frame it!

  42. Yikes!!! That's cold!!!
    Is that yellow yarrow or white yarrow? White is pretty, but I hate that it is invasive!

  43. I love your frozen Yarrow, and the snow pictures are all so beautiful - that sculpted tree-trunk is wonderful!
    Thanks for visiting.

  44. A little late getting around but trying to catch up!
    Loved all your winter photos - just lovely!
    Take care and Happy New Year!


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