Small Pleasures

I have a neighbour who generally heads south for two or more months every winter.  This year his departure was delayed a bit and every sentence that came from his mouth during those weeks was a variation on “I hate winter.”  He hates the cold, he hates the snow, he hates the ice, he hates the dark days, he hates the wind howling off the lake, he hates having to bundle up in multiple layers just to take out the garbage and he hates how gray and brown everything is.

This despite being a self proclaimed “Gardener,” living on 15 acres of land that has woods, marsh, stream and fields.

I’ve learned to bite my tongue and nod sympathetically, but my inside voice is cringing.  With age, my neighbour has grown to hate the Canadian seasons.  I have grown to, if not love, then at least embrace them.  For me, this means seeking out small pleasures in my daily activities and in my garden.  I look for the subtle splash of colour; unexpected green foliage; textures; shapes revealed when leaves are gone.  Here are a few examples I revel in this time of year.

 

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Giant Russian Sunflower  – seeds long gone

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Acer pensylvanicum – Striped Maple, aka Moose Maple – love the bright red twigs and striped bark

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Cornus sericea – Bud’s Yellow Dogwood

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Acer griseum – Paperbark Maple – notice the exfoliating cinnamon colour bark