Monday, November 21, 2011

Frosty Morning

We had the first nights of freeze several weeks ago here in the Flint Hills, but the actual frosts have been few and far between.  It takes humidity in the air to condense as a frost and the average humidity hasn't allowed it save for a few delicate mornings.  But now, as the nights grow longer and my hibernation begins, I bless the mornings when the quiet reigns and the sun still promises a warm day at the end of the afternoon.

This picture, taken at dawn a few days ago with my  iphone, is probably not striking enough to attract any real attention by others, but for me, it hints of many marvelous possibilities. The first thing I notice is that, in its original form, the pixels are just coarse enough that if you blow it up, all the garden grasses appear a little blurred as if from in impressionist painting, showing me by example that I need to modify some photographs of my garden creatively this winter and expand my vision.  Gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll are supposed to have been influenced by her poor eyesight. Perhaps blurring the camera can help me with mine.

The moisture of the frost brings out the winter colors of the drying foliage, showing me a little more color in this early morning picture than I had anticipated in my dreary winter landscape.  I need to spend some time thinking about this view.  Since it corresponds to four months of looking out my bedroom window, improving and expanding the interest and structure of the garden could brighten my winter. 

The mowed paths through the drought-shortened unmown prairie now look too rigid, too straight, and too formal to lead me down to my haphazard garden.  Next year I'll mow them with a little less stiffness and with a little more weave.  And I think the trees need to hurry up and grow, as I need height to separate this garden from the prairie around it. 

And last, the picture tells me how late in the seasonal path we are.  That point of sunrise is closer and closer to Winter Solstice, and far south of where the Summer sun rose at dawn.  It will be interesting to see where the Solstice sun rises in relationship to my new neighbors house on the ridgeline opposite.  It's just possible that while their encroachment messed up my horizon, they've created a Stonehenge for me to measure the passing of years.


  1. Nice picture Prof. I hope you make a photo from this view a regular part of your blog. We have had a couple of freezes but none deep enough to kill all sheltered opening buds. I can certainly feel it coming though. -Rev

  2. By a very weird coincidence, Rev, I was just looking at another picture this morning to post. See todays (11/22/11) post titled "Red Rain".


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