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!

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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

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

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Wordless oxymoron…

Wordless oxymoron...

Hydrant (water source) covered with solid water (snow) copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

I show this as an oxymoron example while also realizing the importance of cleared hydrants this time of year when too often homes are ablaze from unsafe heat sources. Be safe everyone.

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Crystalline sunset…

A few new images of the ice crystals on our now ABOVE zero degree windows; it is a balmy two degrees out!

Winter woodland sunset through frosty window, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Winter woodland sunset through frosty window, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Setting sun behind ice crystals on window copyright 2014 Pamela Beitberg

Setting sun behind ice crystals on window copyright 2014 Pamela Beitberg

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White top hats…

The snow-capped Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea) seed heads in these images reach new heights thanks to our large snowfall this past week. Nature puts physics to a test, or so it seems.

White top hat of snow copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

White top hat of snow copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Snow covered Coneflower copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Snow covered Coneflower copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

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Frosted flakes…

Frosted window pane copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Frosted window pane copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Frosted windows this morning signaled that it was COLD outside this Christmas Eve. When I woke up this morning it was a minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit; “colder than Christmas” (as the saying almost goes). It warmed enough to put a fresh coat of snow on our older snow. Subzero temps return tonight followed by a couple more inches of snow toward morning. It is unusual to have snow with such low temperatures; the air holds less moisture when so cold.

It has been three years since a “white Christmas” in Chicago. Chicago’s chances are 47 percent that tomorrow morning will be picture perfect for this special day. An inch of snow on the ground is required here to be an “official” White Christmas. My hopes are bubbling; I believe snow should always accompany cold weather. I do appreciate that I am in the minority of adults with this view.

Snowflake designs are dependent on their height and movement in the clouds as they form. The causes for the variety of frosted flakes on our windows this morning is a mystery I have not yet solved (or learned). My fascination grows as I ponder these icy ingenious complexities.

Frosty Variety copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Frosty Variety copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

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