Greetings from snowy Vermont where we have been spending a lovely Christmas holiday! I’m so excited that there have been two nice snow storms since we’ve been up here. Friday night, the night of the full moon, was beautiful; crisp and clear. The moon was incredibly bright and, combined with the fresh covering of 15” of snow, it created a spectacular scene outside the upstairs window.
It wasn’t Christmas Eve but the line from “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was all I could think of when I looked out of the window:
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below …
Everything was bathed in moonlight. I haven’t seen such bright moonlight in a long time. It was gorgeous! I wish my pictures had come out better. You can’t even imagine how beautiful it was unless you’ve experienced it before.
The snow was reflecting the moonlight making it even brighter; illuminating the trees and creating beautiful shadows on the snow.
This incredible scene reminded me of another reason that deciduous trees can be so spectacular in winter. The pattern of shadows they make on the snow in the moonlight (and in the sunshine as well) is really interesting.
The only thing that could have made this even more spectacular would be if the northern lights had occurred at the same time. Years ago when my sister lived in Alaska, she and her family took a walk in the moonlight on a Christmas evening and watched the northern lights dance in the sky above them. Boy, would I like to have seen that.
In my last post I talked about the beauty of trees in the winter landscape but I failed to mention how a covering of snow can make them even more attractive. When fresh snow lays on the trees, their beautiful branch structure is really accentuated.
The towering beeches and maples in the Vermont woods are lovely with their branches topped with a layer of snow. It is especially noticeable deep in the woods where the dark branches are otherwise indistinct.
Evergreens are particularly beautiful when they are covered in snow. The conical shape of spruce, firs, and hemlocks allows them to withstand a heavy snow cover with little or no damage. Their flexible branches droop under the burden and eventually the snow slides off. This trait allows them to survive in areas that receive a tremendous amount of snow and makes for a beautiful sight in the winter landscape.
Happy Holidays to all and here’s to a great gardening season in 2013.