nature

Impression, Winter

11:00 in the morning, a frosty foggy day with a shed and bare tree silhouetted against a grey sky

While many people find winter to be the worst season of the year, I can’t despise it. Yes, the cold and dark can be dreary, and yet there is so much beauty God gives to us at this time of year, if we would see it. Last Thursday was one such day, as we woke up to a beautiful foggy, frosty day, as is common in this part of the world, but never commonplace. The world was a glistening winter wonderland, with every surface coated in thick heavy frost, while fog clouds hung low, obscuring the horizon, or at least bringing it in close. There is something unique about a heavy fog, because not only is the sightline hidden and the light diffused and dimmed, but the world becomes quiet, muffled even. Things seem to still and slow down and when you walk outside in a winter fog, you truly feel solitary.

These first photos were taken at 11:00 am when I hurried out to quickly take some photographs, wrapped in a wool coat and scarf, with the cold air nipping at my fingers.

A couple of hours later, around 1:00, the sun had started to burn through the fog, and the quality of light had changed. Again I wrapped up warmly and went out to capture those light changes, feeling an affinity with those Impressionist painters who would begin painting a scene, quickly grabbing a new canvas every time the light changed in order to capture an accurate depiction of the scene before them. While, of course, a photograph is quicker than a brush and canvas, it was interesting to see how strikingly different the world looked just a few hours later. I then continued to watch throughout the day, going out again at 4:00, 4:30 and then the next morning at 11:00. Each time I went out the qualities of light had changed, sometimes with high contrast and blue skies, sometimes with golden light and then finally a light pink glow across the sky. There was no wind, so the frost stayed on the trees for an entire 24 hour period. It was truly a beautiful day, and made me so thankful that I get to live in such a lovely part of the world.

I hope that wherever you live, you enjoy this first day of Winter (or the first day of Summer for those in the southern hemisphere) and are able to appreciate a bit of that changing quality of light and change of the seasons.

11:00 am

a misty foggy country road lined with trees

pine tree branch with needles covered in frost silhouetted against the sky

a pine tree and seedheads covered in frosty

11:00 in the morning, a grouping of spruce trees silhouetted against a foggy sky

1:00 pm

a snowy valley with a blue sky above and footprints in the snow across the field

afternoon pine tree and seedheads covered in frost and shining in the sun

graineries and trees against a blue sky with snow glistening in the sunshine

a fence coated with frost and a pine tree silhouetted against a blue sky

a shed and tree against a blue sky with frost glistening in the sun

4:00 pm

late afternoon golden glow of a shed and pine tree in the snow

late afternoon frosty day, with spruce tree tops against a blue sky

late afternoon trees silhouetted in golden light and shining across the valley

late afternoon country lane silhouetted against a golden sky

4:30 pm

evening light with a pink glow shining across the frosty trees

The next morning, 11:00 am

next morning, shed and pine tree frosty again

tree branches silhouetted against a grey bare sky

pine branches and seedheads covered in frost

pine tree covered in frost silhouetted against a grey muted sky

This Time of Year

grassy lane with a view across the fields. The grass and leaves are golden and brown and the sky is a mixture of greys

It’s October now and it feels like it; the leaves are golden against a sky that alternates between crystal clear blue and stormy greys. When the wind blows, it often has a chill in it, and colourful leaves crunch underfoot as you walk.

golden and green tree branches against a bright blue sky

The season is short, but it’s my favourite time of year!

abandoned shed surrounded with trees and tall grasses

country road lined with golden trees and a cloudy blue sky in the distance

Every corner you turn has another spectacular view. This is a small ravine close to where we live. It’s gorgeous at this time of year.

valley full of golden trees and a blue sky

Even abandoned buildings have a romantic look to them.

empty shed with trees on either side of it

And despite the signs of decay, there is beauty to be seen in the blooms and seedheads.

hydrangea and blanketflower blooms at the end of the season

weed seedheads in the evening light

The trees are dropping their leaves…and their seeds! We will plant some and see if they grow.

basket of acorns and one acorn still on the tree

We’ve been so busy harvesting the garden and have a pantry stuffed full of bounty from our tomatoes, cucumbers, plums, choke-cherries and apples. There are delicious treats ahead this winter!

plums in the tree and colourful leaves

wicker basket full of red plums

mason jars with juice, salsa and tomato sauce in them

In the meantime, it’s still the perfect time to go outside and explore; soon we will be spending most of our time indoors!

barbed wire fence alongside the road with tall grasses and a stormy sky above

Social Saturday | September 3

bachelor's buttons tiny bouquet with teacups in the background for a tea party

Happy Saturday Dear Readers! Here are a few things I’ve been up to in the past few weeks.

Thankful For- Tea parties with friends! We served Earl Grey Tea and Vanilla Cheesecakes with sugared pansies on top (this recipe, but with an almond crust). So pretty!

vanilla cheesecake cut into squares with purple and white sugared pansy decorations on top

ReadingBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I recently read a different book about WWII and was interested in reading more about Bonhoeffer. And then when I visited a second hand book shop a couple of weeks ago, I found this one.

a very tiny fairy egg beside a normal sized egg

Loving– This adorable tiny little “fairy egg” or “fart egg” one of our hens laid. It was so small, yet was perfectly formed with a little yolk and everything! (Read more about fairy eggs here.)

Watching– So many home decorating channels on Youtube. I’ve been especially enjoying XO MaCenna renovating a 1910 fixer upper and Lone Fox working on a 1929 Spanish Revival home. Do you know of any other good home decor channels?

Making– Refinishing an antique dresser! It’s taking a lot longer than I first anticipated, but I think I’m going to love it once I’m done. If I ever finish it, that is…

spicy green peppers, tomatoes and peas fresh from the garden

Eating– Veggies from the garden; tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots…home grown produce is so delicious and flavourful!

Hope you have a great weekend, however you spend it!

bell pepper turning yellow and branches with dark berries on them

Last Days of Summer

blue bachelor's buttons flowers

I can’t believe that it’s already the last day of August..where did the summer go? I had so many projects I wanted to complete over the warm months, but between the humidity and the heat waves, that didn’t go exactly as planned. (I am working on a furniture refinishing project and have been getting up early in the morning to go and work on it outside before the sun heats up too much!)

We’re currently in one last, well, I hope it’s the last, burst of high temperatures. I am hopeful that when we turn the page to September, the weather will cool off a bit. It’s already starting to feel like the end of summer though; the sun sets earlier, the nights are chilly, the flowers are fading and we’re harvesting vegetables from the garden. There truly is a change in the air and the sunlight that signals the changing of the seasons…and I love it!

Here are some of the flowers from the month of August before it’s time to enjoy the fall leaves.

hydrangea flower blooms

bumblebee in a hollyhock flower

There were so many bumblebees on the hollyhock blooms, but as soon as I tried to take a picture of them, they all left, so this is the best I got. They must be camera shy!

pink hollyhock blooms with light striping

My mom grew so many lilies and they all had such abundant blooms this year!

light pink asiatic lily

orange tiger lily and white asiatic lily

broken heart double asiatic lily

orange and yellow sunflower and burgandy and orange daylily

white yarrow and pink blooming sedum

blue sea holly

blue and burgundy purple bachelors buttons blooms

A One Day Bouquet

lilac bouquet in a tiny bottle sitting on a windowsill with a lace curtain

Lilacs are one of those flowers that are best enjoyed outside on the hedge…but I just can’t resist cutting a bouquet to bring inside! Their large, bouncy blooms are perfect for creating wild, abundant bouquets.

light purple lilac blooms covering a hedge

If you cut lilacs and either smash the stems or cut them vertically, they are supposed to last longer, but I didn’t have much luck getting these to last more than a day. But, even if the blooms only last a day or two, it’s still worth it to enjoy their beautiful scent wafting through the house.

dark purple lilac blooms covering a hedge

And apparently the conditions were perfect this year for lilacs, because we got two full weeks of lovely, scented blooms to enjoy. And when the first bouquet wilted, I just went and cut another!

light purple lilac blooms framing an vine covered roof in the background

hedge row covered in light and dark purple lilac blooms

close up of a dark purple lilac bloom

Do you have lilac bushes, or access to some? Have you had any luck getting lilac bouquets to last longer?

lilac bouquet sitting on top of a bookshelf with a vintage mirror behind reflecting the blooms

bouquet of lilacs sitting on a bookshelf in front of a wall covered in vintage pictures

bouquet of lilacs sitting on top of an antique dresser with a mirror

lilac bouquet sitting on top of a dresser with beadboard in the background

lilac bouquet sitting on a dresser with a vintage hand mirror reflecting the blooms