Frost and Early Blooms

Pink Dawn Viburnum Flower cluster Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

February has found me delighted to find and photograph some of my favorite things that occur this time of year. Two cheerful early bloomers and some hoar frost! What I can’t stop calling “Hoary Frost” with a “-y”, maybe because another name for it is “Hairy frost” because that is what it looks like.

Frost & Ice:

Hoar Frost 1 Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds

I’ve been trying to get a good picture of this phenomenon for a while now. This type of frost occurs when you have a sudden freeze on a clear cold night. Because I live in Western Washington where we often have damp foggy air we only get the opportunity for this type of frost a few times of year. Once the sun rises the delicate structure of hair-like ice strands quickly melt.

I found this hoar frost on the leeward side of my giant mulch pile the morning after a clear cold night where temperatures reached nearly 20°F (-6°C).

More pictures of the Hoar/Hairy frost:

Hoar Frost2 Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds
Hoar Frost3 Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds

The birdbath turned into a frozen explosion of water.

Frozen Birdbath Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds

This Begonia leaf is feeling frosty.

Frost on a Begonia Leaf Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds

My two favorite early bloomers:

Pink Dawn Viburnum (Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Pink Dawn’)

This beauty doesn’t just look amazing, it also smells amazing! When I was at the garden nursery a few years back I smelled it before I saw it. Once I saw it, I had to take it home. I dragged the 20lb pot across half the length of the nursery in the rain before I finally found a cart to put it on!

Pink Dawn Viburnum Early Bloom Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds
Pink Dawn Early Bloom2 Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds

and the unscented…

Common Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginica var. macrophylla)

Common Witch-hazel Close-up Bloom

Common Witch-hazel Wide View Feb 2023 By Melanie Reynolds

These two witch-hazel trees are outside the Woodinville, Washington library on the west side of the building.

Snowdrop failure?

I planted some Snowdrops this last Fall, but I haven’t seen any of them yet. I’m starting to wonder if the area I put them in is too dry or if the squirrels had a very Merry Christmas buffet of the bulbs.

Have a good rest of your week!

Reminder: Next Photo Submission

Ferns and/or Unexpected Blooms

Due: February 28th

To be posted on: March 1st

The Fine Print:  Photo Submissions Guidelines

Email to: Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.) Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file preferred. Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, Your blog link (if you have one.) 

Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with your photo. Pictures must be your own or you have permission from the Photographer to share it. All copyrights belong to their respective owners. This is a free, fun, community site about nature. Non-commercial and ad free.

Nature-led Community Photos: A Tree

My sincerest gratitude to those of you who participated in our latest photo submission, A Tree. If you participated in both this photo submission and last month’s submission, Unknown Path, then you have double my gratitude! Please partake of your favorite hot or cold beverage and bask in the glow of my love and gratitude! I hope you can feel it!

A “Beach Tree” on the English coast By Inexplicable Device,

We start our tree tour with this lovely “Beach Tree” interpretation shared with us by Inexplicable Device after he’d switched back from Selkie form.

Not knowing whether I was going to be a stickler for pictures of literal trees only, he also provided us with this dizzying gaze up into some kind of old pine tree. The image reminds me that some tree species can develop such thick lateral branches as to develop their own microecosystems on a single branch! I read about this phenomenon years ago in a National Geographic magazine. I will do further research in an effort to provide a proper post about it, because I think it is a fascinating topic.

A Pine Tree in Norfolk, England, UK By Inexplicable Device,

Aspen Trees North Shore MN USA By Kelli Fika

Banyan Tree, Norton Museum, West Palm Beach, FL, USA Mary Reynolds

Magnolia tree Southern Pines NC By Cathy Litchfield,

Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa, Castle Ward (a National Trust property), County Down, Northern Ireland By Ashley,

Sycamore Tree, New York, NY, USA By Kerfe Roig, methodtwomadness

Bark close-up

Christmas Bush or Pohutukawa (Maori name) or Metrosideros kermadecensis somewhere in New Zeland By Dinah,

Java cassia (aka pink shower, apple blossom) tree Cassia javanica, somewhere in Australia, By Dinah,

North Devon England, UK, Spring 2022 By Ms Scarlet,

Longwood Gardens, Kenneth Sqaure, PA,USA By Mistress Maddie,

Added @ 8:30pm PST – New Addition – My apologies to Lisa. I forgot this was still in my other email box!

Baobab  tree, Botswana, Africa, August 2019.  Photo by Lisa Troute, Jupiter, FL

This concludes our photo journey of trees for the September photo submissions.

Should we do more Monthly Photo Submission prompts?

(*Please let me know if I’ve accidently missed a submission or need to make a correction.)

Exercise: A study in patience

I’m going to pick a tree and take a picture of it during each season. If I take the first picture this week for Fall, by this time next year I’ll have a seasonal progression of the tree. If you like this idea, feel free to do it as well. You can share your tree’s seasonal progression here or post it on your own blog and send me an email, so I know to look for it and reblog.

Thank you for stopping by and being part of the Nature-led community!

A Trip to Florida 2022

Greeting Nature-Led Friends!

Suprise! Last week I was in Florida! I have now returned to my boggy delight that is the Pacific Northwest, but not without bringing you all some sunny pictures of interest, education and ominous warnings about where not to swim.

Footprint in sand

As one of my favorite Tom Waits songs goes, “We made feet for children’s shoes.” This one is now a youth size 5.

Swamplilly Spp unknown

This plant is dressed for a party.

Palm roots

I scared this Tolkienesque palm tree Ent from walking away.

Bleeding Glory-bower

Another party plant having a ball!

Eeek, a spider!

Golden Silk Spider

The biggest spider I have ever seen in my life in the wild! It’s as big as my hand, and my hands are not small! Consequently, I just read this article from National Geographic about another similar spider that is making its home on the Eastern shores of the United States, the Joro spider (similar to this one, but more cold-tolerant.)

Swim with Gators? No Thank you.

Nope, definitely not going in that water.

Maybe when you go on vacation you like to relax, but to me, relaxing is a foreign concept I just can’t seem to gasp. It is my curious nature to always be on the prowl for new learning experiences. As part of my enjoyment in traveling to new places is to support the local work of fellow nature lovers. Here are two places I like to support every time I go to Florida:

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

This turtle rescue organization is currently going through an expansion and remodel. There was only one sick turtle there at the time of our visit. I would assume current sick and injured turtles are being cared for elsewhere.

Turtle Hatchling diorama

Cast of Turtle skeleton

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata

Sleepy young fox, everyone quietly say, “aaaaah”, so cute!

Cypress Knees

I love the phrase “cypress knees.” I don’t know why this one in the foreground looks like it’s giving me the finger though. Rude!

That’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Have a great rest of your week!

Do you have a favorite picture?