Early morning blues…

Pre-sunrise yields overall blue tones to this scene. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Dawn brings out the blue tones that quickly dissipate as the sun emerges. This morning’s sunrise was slowed by heavy clouds. Compare the color tones before sunrise and just after sunrise.

The only element that isn’t a shade of blue is sun’s peaking through the cloud cover. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Gradually, as the sun rises and shines through holes in the clouds the setting loses it’s blueish cast. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The sun’s light warms both the air as well as the color palette. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Check out:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/publications/corfidi/sunset/ for more information.

Warmer memories…

For all my readers and family and friends experiencing January’s deep chill I give you moments from this past spring and summer in these next few posts. Wrap up warm and enjoy.

Flower cluster makes an instant bouquet at the St. Louis Zoo. copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Summer white. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Jerusalem Artichoke last summer. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

 

Change of pace

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Playtime on Lauderdale by the Sea’s beach in Florida. Copyrght 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Who knew?

January

Here is SUN and SAND and SALTWATER.

Who knew?

January

doesn’t have to mean SNOW and COLD.

Here a beach tractor raking the sand

Replaces the snow plows in the streets of Chicago.

Here families and couples wear light clothing as they play at the ocean’s edge

Forgetting the boots, coats, mittens and hats required for snowmen building and sledding.

Who knew?

January

Here is SUN and SAND and SALTWATER.

Beach is raked each morning, as an ecologically friendly way to "pretty" up last night's high tide's treasures. My goal is to walk the beach to treasure hunt for shells and coral before they are hidden under the sand.

The beach is raked each morning, as an ecologically friendly way to “pretty” up last night’s high tide’s treasures. My goal is to walk the beach to treasure hunt for shells and coral before they are hidden under the sand. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

Early morning family play while a couple take a selfie to remember their date on the beach. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Time for the hood…

Monkshood at Chicago Botanic Gardens, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Monkshood at Chicago Botanic Gardens, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Strolling through the western woodland area of the Chicago Botanic Garden this November weekend I was surprised to see the tall, bright blue blooms of Monkshood (Aconitum). I consider Asters in bloom the signal of winter’s eminent arrival. These reliable friends are now full of soft furry tan seed heads. Tall in statue, Monkshood quickly commanded attention in the otherwise neutral setting of newly dormant perennials.

Monkhood’s name is for the sepal’s (outer most part of the flower) resemblance to the caped cowl worn by monks. Running into these flowers was perhaps forewarning of the need for my winter coat this week. The arctic blast, or rather residual typhoon wind, has begun to reach Chicago.

On a side note, the meekness and grace that comes to mind when thinking of monks is not befitting the Monkshood. Monkshood, every part of it, is highly poisonous. So enjoy its beauty with care.

For detailed information this site is a good read on Monkshood: http://www.aacc.org/members/divisions/tdm/library/Pages/feb09-toxin.aspx

Cool spring hues…

First Crocus of spring copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

First Crocus of spring copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Winter white scenes have been replaced with spring cool vistas of blue sky and pale purple crocus. Cool hues are calming and peaceful. This spring is especially welcome as it signals the end of many treacherous days of extreme cold and snow in Chicago.

One worry I did not have this winter was whether this twenty eight year old bulb would reappear. The record breaking snows were a warm sheltering blanket from the equally record breaking number of below zero days; a natural protector for bulbs and perennials. The bud waited two full days for April showers to pause, and opened this morning to greet the sun and to warm my spirit.

 

Cool colors of spring, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Cool colors of spring, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Promise of spring…

Paperwhite and lace copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Paperwhite and lace copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

The beginning of this new year I opened a waiting Christmas gift from a thoughtful neighbor. I gently placed my waiting bulb, into a small pot filled with moist soil. The sun through a north window added warmth. Then I waited. Waiting is easy to do in the frigid temperatures of winter in Chicago; easier than ever this sub-zero January. This mid-month week, with daily snow and sub-zero forecasts the delicate Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) flowers emerged yielding a light sweet aroma. Promises of spring; reward for patience and faith. What a wonder-ful gift.

My bulb was prepared and ready for growth. If you want to force your own bulbs for early arrival, to warm the cold gray days of winter, check out these instructions:  https://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/growing-paperwhite-narcissus-bulbs.html

Paperwhite bloom copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Paperwhite bloom copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg