Ice storm overnight. Beauty beyond words. Walk carefully with me and I will show you some of that beauty. Watch your step. It is very slick.
If this blog had a sound track, this is what it would look like. I don’t know what the music actually sounds like, but as I was working on capturing this glazed Sumac, I felt I was photographing music.
A common evergreen here on my mountain, this is Virginia Pine, Pinus virginiana, dressed in shimmering, silvery ice. A tree native to the Blue Ridge Mountains, that grows to a height of 60 feet.
Another evergreen, my first photo in this blog, is a Blue Spruce, Picea pungens. A tree of color well worth noting. This tree is a particularly nice example of that blue-gray-green. My living room was graced with the beauty of this tree at Christmas, and it has been planted just outside my studio windows to please me throughout the year.
The Blue Spruce is not native to the Blue Ridge Mountains where I am located, but is a tree native to the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. I expect my lovely Blue Spruce to reach a height of 50 feet. Growing the wild, it might reach a height of 75 feet.
The ice doesn’t quite know how to collect itself here on these cotton topped, seed heads of Anemone virginiana. I’ve enjoyed getting to know this native perennial through the years. It’s a tall (2 to 3 feet) plant in summer, with attractive pale green to white flowers that are 1.5 inches across. The pistils are grouped in a thimble shape, which is how the plant gets its name. The common name, Thimble Weed, is perhaps why I am fascinated with it, since I am a quilter and use a thimble quite often.
Seed eating birds really go for these seeds, when they are not covered in a layer of ice. This is Black-eyed Susan or Eastern Coneflower, Rudbeckia fulgida. This is an excellent example of how handy a scientific name is. There are many flowers with the common name, Black-eyed Susan. Knowing the scientific name eliminates all confusion.
More of the Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida, seed heads protected from the desires of Goldfinches, by ice.
A stunning flower during the summer, the Purple Coneflower, Echinachea purpurpea, is another native perennial that I depend on to draw the attention of Goldfinches when the seeds are present. This seed head has served its purpose, with all the seeds gone.
The last stop on our walk in the icy wonderland, this is a White Oak, Quercus alba, which keeps its leaves until the spring. It is a grand tree that can grow to be 100 feet tall and live for 200 to 300 years.
And now, I’m hoping for more ice or snow to create an art gallery of winter beauty on my mountain!