Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Blues

As months go, January is one I typically enjoy. The holidays are past, and it's a time for fresh starts.  January is a dark month, I know. I expect that. I grew up here and know all about the lack of light and long, wet months of Winter. I remember feeling down throughout my life at this time of year (except when I lived in California). Therefore, I say it's okay to embrace the gloom. There is something comforting about doing so. 

This year, however, I find myself more than ever fighting January and anticipating April. I can't wait for it. I look for signs everywhere, every bud on every tree, looking for new growth below the surface of the dirt. I realize I'm early, but I want to be outside with my plants. It's almost painful NOT to be.  

What I do then to curb my plant lust when my garden looks like the Arctic tundra is walk. A lot. And take pictures of nature, and keep walking. This post is about a special walk I took on my birthday a couple of weeks back. I had the day off and went for my regular hike up to Mount Tabor and took photos along the way, looking for living things, signs of Spring.


Along the way, I spotted some smartly pruned evergreens. Pruned green things always cheer me up.



So do fuzzy pussywillow-ish things.


 Here's the same roof top Opuntia that Danger Garden blogged about here. The funny (or weird) thing is we took this pic I believe on the same day, maybe only minutes apart...and I took it for her! Hahah...so strange...


 Nice use of a former birdbath.


This just made me happy.


 This is a fairly new garden after a new rock wall went in recently. Nice. 





 Crevice sedums!



 My beloved local park. A real volcano, too!


 Oooo...misty mystery. 






 At the base of my favorite tree, another offering to the faeries.





 A memorial for a dead bird near the same tree.


Then, off to a trip to Portland Nursery. It was my birthday, after all, I needs me some conifers and friends!





 The Hellebores are always lovely this time of year. I did end up buying one, a Hellebore 'Cinnamon Snow'. First one I've ever purchased...hoping it does well.


 I love the crispness of white and green this time of year.


 Another birthday present....LOVE this! 


Isn't it sexy??

And the perfect way to end what turned out to be a wonderful January day...a homemade gluten-free orange cake made by my mom...delicious.

Cake helps to drive away Wintertime blues. And plants. I highly recommend both in whatever form you can find!

16 comments :

  1. That cake looks delicious! Great post, thanks for taking us with you on your hike. I love the sedum in the crevices. That's part of my plan for my new recycled concrete wall. And I'm contemplating several different conifers for the big bed along the street. I'm with you on itching to get my hands in the soil.

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    1. Hi Alison! It WAS delicious...past tense, of course. Hang in there, the garden shows are coming and hopefully that will curb our plant lust for a while!

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  2. What a great way to celebrate your birthday! I love to take winter walks - Mt. Tabor is a great place to go. And of course a trip to your favorite nursery is a must!

    I love to work in my garden in the winter time. I bundle up, make myself some hot tea or coffee to take into the garden, stroll the paths, look at the plants and plan to do some heavy duty compost turning or just sit in the garden and enjoy nature. Good way to ban the blues.

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    1. Hi Jeanne,
      Thanks for commenting! Yes, birthday plants are required, right? You are like me, just bundle the heck up and get out there. Trouble is, I need something to do! I think it's time to invent a project for the garden...

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  3. I haven't been to Mt. Tabor in years. What a great place it still is. I didn't realize it was a volcano cone, but makes sense. Hopefully not a dormant one, but extinct?

    Thanks for sharing your walk!

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    1. Hi Debbie,
      It IS a great place! And yes, a dormant (hopefully!) volcano. Very cool. Thanks for going along with me on the walk! Cheers!

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  4. Volcano! (There's a long story there but I won't bore you or your readers).

    You're right, I think we did take our photos of the cactus roof just minutes apart, the foggy day looks oh so familiar. I love the planter bird bath on a pedestal and those yuccas that made you happy are wonderful!

    Smart girl heading to a nursery for your birthday, nice purchases! And you mom makes what looks to be an amazing cake! (Happy late birthday)...

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    1. Oh, tell me about the Volcano story! Would love to hear it!
      That's so weird, isn't it? I mean seriously, we must have been minutes apart. Great minds?? I have seen that thing a couple of dozen times and thought "I need to take a photo of it for Loree" and the day I do....well...

      Amazing cake, yes...and thanks for the bday wishes! Cheers!

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  5. Happy belated Birthday! I love that tree up on Mt. Tabor...it's so photogenic!

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    1. Aw, thanks Scott! :) The one misty photo with the grasses...that one was for you !

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  6. fifi lafontaine12:10 PM PST

    Happy birthday, T.!! Ooh, that cake DOES look yummy! How was it? I need some conifers too. We should go conifer shopping in the spring!

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    1. Fifi! Let's go conifer shopping! I'm with you ...especially after the Great Freeze of 2013. I'm all about hardy evergreen things. OH, and the cake WAS yummy. Very. My mom's first attempt at gluten-free and man, she rocks! xoxo

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  7. I didn't get a notice that it was your birthday. Oh well, late greetings count, right? Happy Birthday! "Misty mystery" sizes it up perfectly. I love those foggy shots.

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    1. Oh, thank you Ricki! It was a lovely day. Fog and all. Cheers!

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  8. A belated happy birthday to you! Birthday plant shopping is the best plant shopping. That sounds like a pretty perfect day.

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  9. Happy belated birthday! I am ready for spring too, and I NEVER say that. But this has been a cold and dreary winter in Austin, which is unusual.

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