Tag Archives: Winter

Saturday Poetry Blogging

Landscape in Winter ~ Mary Oliver

Upon the snow that says nothing,
That is endlessly brilliant,
There is something
Heaped, dark, and motionless.

Then come the many wild wings, strong and bold.
“Death has happened,” shout the carrion crows.
“and this is good for us.”

May as Well Laugh

Winter's Coming

Winter’s Coming

Some People Play Fantasy Football; I Play Fantasy Gardening


I had dinner with Landscape Guy last night and we were commiserating with each other over the plants we’ll likely lose due to this deep freeze. Nothing to do at this point but sit inside our snug cottages and hope.

Well, of course, that’s not entirely true. Most gardeners spend the Winter months plotting and planning the coming year’s garden. And, right on time, the garden catalogs start showing up in our mailboxes. This week, I got my Dutch Gardens catalog and found myself enjoying the fanciful plant names. It would be fun to have a garden full of plants with Pagan names.

Various Goddesses and Gods could be represented by Lady Liberty Dahlia and Lady Liberty Peony, Green Goddess Calla, Jupiter’s Beard, Coyote Mint, and Mars Magic Alcea.

Purple Dragon Lamium, Firespinner Ice Plant, Bonfire Euphorbia, and Dragon’s Blood Sedum for our love of the Elements.

Maybe Pagan Purples Delphinium next to the Purple Dragon Lamium? Blue Moon Wisteria growing on a trellis with New Moon Globeflowers at the base?

A nod to the Summerland with the Apple Blossom Dahlia Mixture and a shout-out to Samhein with the Pumpkin Dahlia Mixture. Old Court Shasta Daisies in honor of the Old Ones?

Who wouldn’t want a Black Sprite Centaurea in the garden? Maybe in the center of a bed of Goblin Gaillardia?

I wonder what plants would go in a Tarot garden? (It’s going to be a long Winter.)

Picture found here.

Sunday Ballet Blogging

Wednesday Night Poetry Blogging — Sun in Pisces, Moon in Taurus Edition


The Curtain

~ Hayden Carruth
Just over the horizon a great machine of death is roaring and rearing.

We can hear it always. Earthquake, starvation, the ever-renewing sump of corpse-flesh.

But in this valley the snow falls silently all day, and out our window

We see the curtain of it shifting and folding, hiding us away in our little house,

We see earth smoothened and beautified, made like a fantasy, the snow-clad trees

So graceful. In our new bed, which is big enough to seem like the north pasture almost

With our two cats, Cooker and Smudgins, lying undisturbed in the southeastern and southwestern corners,

We lie loving and warm, looking out from time to time. “Snowbound,” we say. We speak of the poet

Who lived with his young housekeeper long ago in the mountains of the western province, the kingdom

Of cruelty, where heads fell like wilted flowers and snow fell for many months

Across the pass and drifted deep in the vale. In our kitchen the maple-fire murmurs

In our stove. We eat cheese and new-made bread and jumbo Spanish olives

Which have been steeped in our special brine of jalapeños and garlic and dill and thyme.

We have a nip or two from the small inexpensive cognac that makes us smile and sigh.

For a while we close the immense index of images that is our lives—for instance,

The child on the Mescalero reservation in New Mexico sitting naked in 1966 outside his family’s hut,

Covered with sores, unable to speak. But of course we see the child every day,

We hold out our hands, we touch him shyly, we make offerings to his implacability.

No, the index cannot close. And how shall we survive? We don’t and cannot and will never

Know. Beyond the horizon a great unceasing noise is undeniable. The machine,

Like an immense clanking vibrating shuddering unnameable contraption as big as a house, as big as the whole town,

May break through and lurch into our valley at any moment, at any moment.

Cheers, baby. Here’s to us. See how the curtain of snow wavers and then falls back.

from Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995.

Picture found here.

Garden Reading in the Snow

Snowy Portal

Snowy Portal

We had rain last night and snow this morning — big, fluffy flakes that dusted the ground and the magnolia trees before more rain made them melt. There are a few things I’d like to do in the garden — weed the southern half of the herb bed one more time, put away some wire supports that are still out in the cottage and woodland gardens. I’m worried that the daffodils and day lilies are already trying to sprout — it’s been unseasonably warm here until the last week or so. I’d like to do a bit of protective magic on them. But today was too cold and wet. Instead, I stayed inside and read about gardening.

A very dear friend gave me One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place for Yule, and I’m loving the discussion of early Twentieth Century gardening and Welty’s relationship with her garden.

Gardenista has a lovely post about cottage gardens. This, in particular, rings true: “The gardens we love are more about feelings than facts.” Another beloved friend recently sent me a picture of a plaque with Alfred Austin’s quote: “Show me your garden, provided it be your own, and I will tell you what you are like.” And every garden is, of course, greater than the sum of its parts.

One of my favorite garden writers, Amy Stewart, has listed tons of gardening ebooks available for $1.99. I’m adding half a dozen of them to my iPad Kindle, starting with Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden. Who knows? By the time Spring comes, I may even have read all of them.

Is gardening one of your resolutions? If so, or even (especially) if not, you should read what Andrew Weil has to say about it. I especially like his Wendell Berry quote about growing our own food: “It is — in addition to being the appropriate fulfillment of a practical need — a sacrament, as eating is also, by which we enact and understand our oneness with the Creation, the conviviality of one body with all bodies.” I know that gardening is, indeed, a sacrament for me.

Do you garden? How do you pass the months when it’s too cold?

Picture found here.

Be Still

Here’s one of the loveliest pictures that I’ve seen of a garden in Winter.

Jaap de Vries Garden

Jaap de Vries Garden


Hat tip: Garden Design by Carolyn Mullet

Dreaming the Dark

Dream Swim

Dream Swim

So if I’m going to be “that” old woman — the crazy one who blogs about her dreams, I might as well go all out. Last night was the New Moon and I stayed up late watching shooting stars. When I went to bed, I dreamed that, as was normal, I drove to the edge of a body of water and then got in to swim to work. This water wasn’t murky; it was blue with little white caps on the waves. I swam and came up level with the seated Statue of Liberty. Her feet were just above the water and I thought to myself that there must still be flooding from Sandy. I swam on a bit and looked down at my hand and saw that I was holding onto my glass heart, even though I was swimming. I thought how glad I was that I hadn’t lost my heart or broken my heart. As I neared the shore where I work, I became uneasy, realizing that I’d left my key back on the other shore. I really didn’t want to stop and go back, but I finally had to face that fact that I wouldn’t be able to get into work without the key. And, so, I finally turned around, finding a submerged wall to use to push myself off from, as when I swim laps in a swimming pool. I began to swim back and noticed that there were some submerged submarines in the water, but they didn’t have anything to do with me, so I swam past them, waking up before I’d gotten very far.

Sometimes, I have to laugh at my subconscious. It tries so hard. Glass heart. Heart in hand. Glad I didn’t lose my heart or break my heart. At the feet of Lady Liberty. Can’t do the work without the key. Submerged things that can either help me or that won’t harm me.

I love this dark time of the year for many reasons, one of which is the rather productive dreams I often have.

May it be so for you.

Picture found here.

Dancing in the Dark with the Woodwose


The deeper that we go into the dark, the less that I have to say — not an easy admission for a woman whose Ascendent is in Gemini and who makes her living writing prose for pay. But I’m busy, based upon one of the most important Tarot readings of my life, dancing in my dreams with the Woodwose. I know that I’m hitting close to home because, last night, I had another dream about swimming in murky waters which is how my Shadows, bless their hearts, say: “Step back, bitch. You’re getting too close for our comfort.” Dear Shadows, not on your best day. We’re both going to be glad (wounded, we’re both going to be wounded, but glad, we’re both, also, going to be very, very glad) that I persisted in this effort. Come on, baby, the laugh’s on me. Can’t start a fire, worrying about your little world falling apart.

So I feel as if, like Mary Oliver in Little Summer Poem, who fails every Summer as a witness, I’m failing my readers.

But my brilliant friend, Amy, has recorded a new song: We Are the Web. It’s wonderful and you should listen to it. My post for tonight should just say: What Amy Said.

In just a few days, the growing dark is going to yield to the returning light and I’ll come, slowly, out of my warm and scary cocoon of shadows and dreams. How are you spending these perfect, dark hours?

Picture found here.

Landbase in Winter

Gardeners more than others, I think, learn to appreciate the out-of-doors even in late Autumn/early Winter when most people retreat indoors to hibernate until Spring. Although in some parts of the world the weather is too harsh for much outdoors time, here, in the Magical MidAtlantic, there is secret beauty for those who care to look.

Late Autumn

Late Autumn

Who would you be if you spent time every day with those dry stalks and that talking tree?

Hat tip: Hanging Garden