Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nature's Confectioner's Sugar

Not even a week has passed since Punxsutawney Phil promised us six weeks of winter. In normal years, the groundhog prophecy would be accompanied by the word more.  Given the extremely mild winter we've experienced since the early snowstorm in October, this year's prediction seemed dubious.  February 6th and 7th were a sunny 50 degrees, prompting witch hazel and hellebore to bloom.

But it appears Phil has some credibility.  February 8th, it began to snow.

The Hillside Garden came to life with a fresh coat of powder.

The snow accented the beautiful form of the weeping hemlock on the west lawn.

The Japanese umbrella pine and weeping Japanese maple were quite striking.

And the snowdrops, which emerged in force in the mild weather, looked elegant under the snowflakes.

But today was perhaps most beautiful, with the return of sunshine to light the frosted landscape.

Still, this was only a few more days of winter. No offense Mr. Punx, but I remain skeptical about your six week prediction.  Signs of spring are everywhere.

Magnolia bud.

Mahonia bealei about to bloom.

Witch hazel in the lower arboretum.

L: 'Diane' witch hazel. R: 'Westerstede' witch hazel.

'Jelena' witch hazel, near Pinetum.

 So, Punx, meet robin. He has been robbing the hollies and waiting to sing "I told you so."

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