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Happy Solstice

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Winters are usually comfortable here.  We have some ten hours of sunlight on our shortest day.  This year, this solstice/Christmas week, the temperatures are even rising into the 60s, but that’s not necessary for a lovely winter day. P1000680

One of the treats of the depth of winter, for me, is the way the low southern sun shines through the bushes while I am at my desk in the morning.  I have sometimes been caught off guard looking up, thinking I’m seeing flowers on a plant, the way the white spots are distributed.  It’s a delightful trick of the morning light.

May the lovely blooms you imagine this winter flower for you in 2016.

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Is It Winter Yet?

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Of course it isn’t winter yet by the calendar.  But many plants are reacting to recent freezes and changing their colors.

P1000309Cottonwoods in the arroyo are all golden, but haven’t yet dropped their leaves.  The leaves of the buffalo gourd vine, on the other hand, have all frozen, leaving the gourds to show their stuff.  P1000307In my back yard the four-wing saltbush is covered with ochre seed pods. P1000304And the tall grass plant is turning leaf by leaf from green through red to yellow to brown.P1000313There’s an extra glow in the morning sun which I haven’t found a way to catch in the camera.  I haven’t caught it in words either, though I admire it from my desk every morning.

Poem for a Winter Night

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Night reflects day, not
innocent of influence
as a true mirror,
but with all the shading
of long acquaintance.

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My son gave me a new camera for Christmas and I couldn’t resist trying it out on a night shot.  Not bad for a beginner like me with a relatively simple machine.  The moon was past full, though it looks very round in this shot.