Show us your landscape - a photo thread - December 2013

pixie_louNovember 29, 2013

This is a place to post photos, and to discuss, what is in your garden. This is the thread for December 2013. All garden photos are welcome. As we enter autumn, the emphasis starts to shift away from blossoms and we start to think about leaves, berries, branches, etc. However, all landscape and garden photos are welcome. How about some wonderful photos of your yards full of holiday lights? Either elegant or tacky! If it is a photo taken in your garden or your yard, it is fair game to post it here.

Here is the link for the December 2012 thread.

For previous 2013 threads:
November 2013

October 2013 part 2

October 2013 part 1

September 2013

August 2013 part 2

August 2013 part 1

July 2013 part 2

July 2013 part 1

June 2013 part 2

June 2013 part 1

May 2013

April 2013 part 1

April 2013 Part 2

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

To see all of the 2012 threads, please click on the December 2012 link. The first post will have links to all previous months.

I am (still) in process of moving all the 2011 threads over to the
photo gallery
. That will be my first chore in January - transfer the 2011 and 2012 threads to the gallery.

FWIW if we have 50 posts in this thread by 15 December then I will make a December Part II thread. We have been a chatty group lately!

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Now that the yard is getting browner and browner, and there's no snow in sight (and we usually don't get much anyway), I'm thankful for evergreens, particularly variegated evergreens.

Euonymus 'Silver King' and Osmanthus 'Goshiki' (with the obligatory winterberries)

The euonymus has a few berries as a bonus.

Osmanthus 'Goshiki'

There's a patch of euonymus down by the road in the middle of the hosta bed. The hostas are dormant now so the euonymus comes to the fore. This area is subject to nasty winter winds so I make sure there's a blanket of compost and pine needles and leaves to protect the crowns and roots of the plants. The euonymus doesn't seem to mind the exposure.

There are some ferns and epimediums still green in the background.

Another euonymus is interspersed with English ivy next to a cedar.

And there's a couple of variegated leucothoes under the big old osmanthus near the road. I'm not sure which one, probably 'Girard's Rainbow'.

Here an osmanthus branch is overlapping the leucothoe.

Not an evergreen, but the ferns (Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance') under the old white pine down by the road are still green and healthy looking. Ivy is climbing up the pine. The ferns are near the euonymus/hosta bed by the road.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 12:03PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Pretty and varied evergreens, Claire!

My landscape this time of year is all about the lights, especially as there is no snow right now. My lit-up bottle tree at top, and below, barn with green picnic area lights in the background.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 5:40PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Love the lights, spedigrees, particularly the bottle tree! And having the inside of the barn lit makes it look like it's really warm inside.

I haven't put up any lights yet - it's still too warm here to feel seasonal.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 8:00PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I used to have a heat lamp in the barn for the old pony, and after she died I swapped it out for an orange compact fluorescent bulb to preserve the ambience. Just in case the spirits of she and her pasture mates might be wandering about out there, they have a light to find their way back into their little house. This light lacks the actual warmth of the old heat lamp, but, as you said, it *looks* warm, and probably that is enough to warm spirit horses.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 9:02PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

spedigrees: It's true that spirit horses no longer need the warmth of the heat lamp, but they probably appreciate the warmth of being remembered. The light and the open barn reminds them that you're still thinking of them.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 9:21AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Sped, LOVE your Christmas lights, the blue bottle tree but especially the warm welcome you've created for friendly spirits who may return again some winter night to their cozy nest.

We've lighted up our pine down by the river --- Pinue sylvestris 'Inverleith' --- Sylvester to us. He, too, always seemed so chilly and alone when everything else died back and the winter winds started blowing upriver. We thought some Christmas lights would cheer him up.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 5:25PM
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pixie_lou

Loving the Christmas lights photos.

We had a slight dusting of snow this morning. Snow interspersed on the holly.

I loved the snow on the pond. Reminds me of ink blots. So I guess these are snow blots?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:42PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Molie, I love Sylvester, the pine, all dressed in light-up garb. He looks so festive and cheery against the backdrop of the cold water.

We have a mere dusting of snow here as well, Pixie. More grass than snow is coloring the landscape. Is your pond all iced over, or is there just ice in spots?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 12:48AM
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pixie_lou

Hi Sped. The pond hasn't frozen over yet. It has been getting a thin coating of ice at night which then breaks up and melts during the day. In fact my beautiful snow blots are all gone - from the rain yesterday afternoon. It should be below freezing for much of the next week, so the pond will most likely freeze over for the winter this week.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 9:24AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

For sure, Pixie, the freeze is coming. Do you skate on that pond?

Sped--- grass? Is this an unusual/sparse snowstorm for you folks in December? Many times when I brought my daughter home from college during November and December breaks, there was lots of snow on the ground --- even storms to drive through as I headed north.

Today's storm is a tease of what's to come. It's still snowing lightly here along the coast. The roads are wet, which is good for drivers as long as the temperatures don't drop. Most of the CT schools are closed for the day. You never know with these winter storms.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 1:00PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

I really like that pond! And the 'blot' is perfect. Somewhere between an angel, a dove and a Trekky. The lights in the pasture and near the river give so much life to these darker skies. Very pretty. If I hadn't put my outdoor timer plug-in thingy in such a safe place, I could light my tree.

Molie, don't despair - I'll bring you more snow. I can never decide whether to stake Scotch Broom (pink) or let it ride the weight of the winter snows. It's riding today - right to the ground.

Jane

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 3:02PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Sylvester is definitely proud and smiling, Molie, and pixie_lou's snow blot is beautiful, almost unearthly. It looks like it could start moving like the Northern Lights.

Jane seems to have won the snow amount prize, plus a bonus. I wouldn't have expected CT to have more snow cover than VT (but I suspect VT will catch up soon).

The snow is letting up here and there's only about an inch on the ground, and that not everywhere. The bluestone pavers seem to be holding the heat so the snow is melting there and I don't even have to sweep them.

We're looking at a week of freezing days and nights ahead so that snow is going to be solid tomorrow.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 3:56PM
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pixie_lou

Today we have snow dots, not snow blots.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 9:31PM
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pixie_lou

OMG - has anyone's else noticed that GW is now embedding ads in the middle of threads. I was just scrolling through this thread to look at the pictures again, and I see a picture of holiday cookies. I've been busy and haven't been spending much time on GW. Have these ads been here a while? Or is this brand new?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 9:28AM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

No cookies here, Pix. Ad Blocker Plus on Firefox. Did you update your add-on from Mozilla? I don't see cookies when using IE 10 - also has ad blocker. I also don't see any cookies in my kitchen which is just plain sad.

Try updating Ad Blocker and checking your Preferences under TOOLS, Ad Blocker and see if that dashes the cookies.

Jane

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:05AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

No ads here either on Firefox with Adblock Plus, and I just checked Safari with its Adblocker. No ads there either.

Love that polka dot pond! Or is that shadows of flying saucers?

Claire

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:30AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Pixie, that pond is wild. Whatever is causing the snow dots? Hot spots in the water? No ads in the middle of threads for me. I use Safari and have a Mac.

Jane, regarding your snow amounts. Hmmmm... have you heard about this weekend's storm and the snowfall prediction? I'm sure there will be a big run on generators at HD and Lowe's all over the state.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 10:25AM
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pixie_lou

No more ads. I read on an iPad or an iPhone. And when I asked about the ads, I was seeing an ad with a picture of cookies under the first post of every thread - on both the iPad and iPhone. But no more now.

Until now, the pond hasn't been completely frozen over, so water was seeping through in spots causing the patterns. I've never really paid much attention to snow patterns on the pond before, but I'm guessing if the pond had had polka dots before, I would have noticed! It's just boring frozen ice now.

But speaking of cookies, grandma came over and made these with DD yesterday. Granted I should have put the palate outside before I took the picture so I wouldn't be off topic! but. . .

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 2:51PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Maybe the ads snuck in without GW's permission and were removed when people started complaining.

There's an interesting report on mysterious pond circles in upstate New York, with all sorts of explanations, some serious, some not.

And a picture of gardener's food! Always appropriate on a gardening forum.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 4:44PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Uh-oh, now I'm seeing ads in the right hand column next to the first one or two posts in a thread. They all seem to be GW related. This is viewed on a Mac laptop.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 4:48PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Yes, I think because they are GW, there's no way to get rid of them. I also use a Mac with Adblocker.

The other night we had a lovely pink glow of a sunset, a contrast to the stark neutrals of the rest of the scene. At the house, the garden isn't too visible from indoors, so I haven't done much planting for winter interest. Mostly I enjoy the view across the fields from indoors which is greys, browns, black and white, along with the deep greens of spruce and pine.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 8:46AM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

You do have 'calendar' views, nhbabs. Lovely piece of property and beautiful pictures.

Pond circles are neat, pixie. My first thought was of fish or turtles coming up for air (not expelling it). Love that pond. Cookies look very pretty.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:29AM
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spedigrees z4VT

NHBabs, I love your landscape with the pink sky. I see you have the same green and white ground effect that I do. I guess it is due to change tonight with the snowstorm coming in.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:54PM
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defrost49

Thanks for the nice visit this morning. Talk about the spirit horses touched my heart. So nice to see touches of color whether it be lights, sunsets or sunrises, and what's still green in the garden.
Snow this morning but not has much as expected. I'm afraid field renovations have disrupted the wild turkeys and they are not visiting. The pines where they roosted were cut back and then that area is being de-stumped on occasional weekends.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 10:24AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Snow came heavily in the middle of the night with strong wind gusts and then left when it turned to rain. Just some slush left here.

I finally put lights outside - here on the deck. I"m not thrilled with rope lights but the squirrels don't chew them (at least not yet). They went through two nice LED strands a few years ago that were wrapped with faux evergreen garlands.

The leaves are down so the bay and beach are visible again.

The moon is almost full and the tide is out so it makes a nice scene from the deck.

In front of the house I also have some rope lights on the porch railing.

And the wisteria has two of the remaining LED light strands. It had three strands last year but the squirrels got the third. I usually post pictures of the wisteria, etc. out of my kitchen windows. These are the kitchen windows from the view of the wisteria.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 5:47PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Drats about the squirrels destroying your lights, Claire! Hopefully the new lights will not tempt them. I think your deck is very festive --- to me, the rope lighting looks like waves on the ocean, especially in that first photo of the deck against the bay.

Here along the coast, the snow fell all Saturday. It was a beautiful snowstorm with light fluffy snow that was easy to shovel by hand. Late at night it switched to sleet and frozen rain. We woke to a wonderland of icicles.

I took a few photos of the back yard and the river --- the trees where my DH spotted a hawk this morning ---- and Sylvester dripping in ice. The cold must have affected the timer for his lights because they were still on, and so I rushed out to take some pictures.

The Oyster River --

Sylvester heavy with ice and with his listing star

To me, the most beautiful parts of the river were the tiny frozen sea grasses

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 8:58PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Lovely, Molie! The muted colors and crystallized branches are fantastic, and Sylvester still looks jaunty with his points of bright colors.

I'm waiting for the next round of snow tomorrow - this one may last a few days before another warmup.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 10:10AM
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gardenfuntimes

I thought I'd highlight the beauty in my dry phlomis suffruticosa seedheads. There's such wonderful structure in them! This is in my perennial garden. I live just north of Seattle, WA.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 7:34PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I'm not sure if this picture is quite appropriate for this thread. It isn't of the landscape, but these geraniums will be out in the landscape this coming summer. I'm surprised at how well they seem to be doing in their winter home this year. They lost a few leaves early on, but now are blooming and healthy looking. It's nice to see a small remnant of summer during this cold, dark season.

Yesterday I finally packaged up and put away my saved seeds that had been drying in the spare room. It always makes me start to look forward to next year's gardening season, or at least begin to believe that it will come.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 12:43PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

gardenfuntimes: Those phlomis suffruticosa seedheads are really striking. They look like something you might see in a closeup photograph of mosses, not in a full-sized garden.

spedigrees: Not everyone grows flowers in their laundry room but they look happy - maybe the humidity is higher? Sort of like keeping houseplants in the bathroom.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 6:27PM
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pixie_lou

Hi Sped. The geraniums look great! And yes, I think the picture is appropriate. It's December and they're blooming! We New Englanders have to be creative with our garden interpretation this time of year. Then again, I'm the one who posted a photo of Christmas cookies!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:35PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Obviously not my home landscape, but where I am now in the Colorado foothills, hoarfrost on the ponderosa and spruce from last night's freezing fog.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 11:51AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

A photo from the snow earlier this week of this year's winter buckets. I am glad I added the little birches, since there are greens under the snow, but I didn't get a photo before they were covered. I've wrapped some of the tomato spirals in lights.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 12:05PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

nhbabs: Your pics somehow slipped past me. Freezing fog is such an ominous term, brings to mind London but in a glacial time. It's beautiful though when it causes hoarfrost.

Your birches and tomato spirals are like driveway markers - they remind you that there's something under there to watch out for. Putting lights on the spirals is a great idea.

I'm now adjusting to a landscape without winterberries, courtesy of a voracious flock of robins yesterday.

There are a few berries left but not enough to see red from a distance.

Without all that red I now have to focus (fixate?) on evergreen foliage and ornamental grasses. Think green and brown, not red and everything else. No snow now so the ground is brown, brown, brown.

The two American hollies, Ilex opaca 'Goldie', still have their berries uneaten. They're not as dramatic as the winterberry and they don't produce every year, but the foliage is healthy even when the berries are sparse.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 5:59PM
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pixie_lou

Claire - I know I've asked you a million times, but who do I contact to transfer the 2011 and 2012 threads to the galleries?

Speaking of old photos - I was just looking through the December 2012 thread and found a photo of nhbabs mailbox with tomato spirals sans snow. Gives me a better appreciation of the amount of snow up in New Hampshire.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 7:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You all have such nice little landscape vignettes to look at off season. Nothing in my garden is pleasing me at the moment. Babs, the more I see that combination of your mail box and the birch trees, the more I really like it. It gives you a little screen, but the transparency this time of year, is nice too. Are those River Birches? How tall do you expect them to get?

Your yard gets better every year, Claire, with all the winter interest you've designed into it. Very nice! I'm sure you are happy that the birds stripped the berries off the shrubs, even if they are pretty to look at. I'm sure the birds really appreciate it.

Spedigrees, my brother in law used to have a single red geranium growing in his kitchen window which I think was a Southern exposure and it was such a cheerful sight when I would visit. It would always be in bloom. I'm sure you will enjoy yours this winter.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 8:31AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

pixie_lou: I contacted editor@gardenweb.com to transfer the threads to the Gallery. I got a response from Tamara who coordinated the transfer with her staff. The process wasn't instantaneous (they're busy over there) but it eventually got done.

I'll contact them again in a little while to transfer my 2013 thread, but I'll wait for your transfer to be completed.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I haven't really been out in the garden in awhile, which is unusual for me, but today I saw tracks from the window that I wanted to post a photo of to get some input and on my way back in, I saw all these little Japanese Maples stuck in the snow that made me smile.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 11:24AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Very pretty, PM2 - it looks like a fancy fleecy skirt for under a Christmas tree. The maple leaves are a lovely accent.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 12:03PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

PM2 - I like those Japanese maple leaves on snow!

My birches won't get any larger as they are small wild gray birches that would have grown into the wires where they were growing. I cut them to put into the planters for winter.

The planter last night was prettier than the photo, with all the snow-coated branches catching the light.
From December 30, 2013

This is what the gray birches do in a heavy snow or ice, bending onto wires and into the road, so we have to cut them back far enough to not be a problem.
From December 30, 2013

The veggie garden under snow.
From December 30, 2013

The row of hemlocks between the field and the road. We were lucky that the weather warmed early enough this morning that most of the snow had slipped off the branches before any wind kicked up, so there was little if any damage from the heavy snow.
From December 30, 2013

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 9:12PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh, wow, a winter wonderland, Babs! We haven't had as much snow as you have. The first snowfall was supposed to be light and fluffy but ended up being very heavy and wet and arborvitaes and some others were almost down to the ground too. Happy they came back up when the snow melted off them, but it took a week because of the low temps. I have three Ilex 'Sky Pencil' that looked a little worse for wear after last winter, so we tied those up this year, and I'm so glad I did. Great photos!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 9:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks Claire, you always have such colorful expressions and analogies. That was a good one, it looks just like that.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 4:46AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Classic picture postcard winter scenes, nhbabs, and the planter with the spiral lights is inspired!

No snow here yet, although they're promising some on Thursday and Friday. If only there were some way to pre-shovel to get ready for it so you don't get that finished deep product first thing in the morning.

Claire

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 11:09AM
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pixie_lou

Thanks for the contact info Claire. I sent an email last night. Will wait to see what happens.

nhbabs- you are definitely living in a winter wonderland. I especially love the birches photo.

Some pond and snow photos from last week - before the rain and melting this weekend.
Ice patterns on the pond

I love how these bunny footprints look like a bunny print.

Someone took a walk across the pond

More footprints in the backyard

I like the snow resting on the tree branches

And lastly - after the melt - something is popping out of the ground. Hellebore Grape Galaxy.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 4:04PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I know we've moved on to January landscapes now, but I just wanted to comment on some of the gorgeous winterscapes that I admired but was too busy with holiday stuff to write about.

NHBabs, the photos of your trees covered in snow are breathtaking. They look like antique postcards, the colors almost muted to black & white. I love the lights on the spirals too.

I love your snow skirt decorated in maple leaves, PM, although I imagine it has disappeared under a much wider blanket of snow now.

Isn't it fun to see the animal tracks in the snow, Pixie? It is almost like the snow becomes a hidden camera for activity that otherwise goes unseen.

And Claire, your Christmas lights against the backdrop of ocean are magical. Water adds such a dimension of beauty to any landscape, but especially to a landscape of lights; I guess it is the contrast between warm and cold that does it. And your water is the mightiest of all! It has to be wonderful to have the great Atlantic ocean in your back yard.

Now moving on to January, and trying to shovel and snow blow myself out of the January snowscape...

This post was edited by spedigrees on Thu, Jan 2, 14 at 15:58

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 3:55PM
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