Wednesday night, into Thursday morning, the weather forecast was for some rain, and maybe in the mountains a little snow. Hooray for elevation! It was beginning to stick when I hit the sack and Thursday morning I was greeted with an inch of snow on the grass. Given all the talk of the rain/snow line and where I am located, I am happy to settle for an inch of snow.
This patch of snow (above), shows off my Aster seed heads. The Asters are a favorite spot for Buckeye Butterflies, Junonia coenia, when they choose to be in the area, in the fall. For some reason this gorgeous butterfly (seen below), with bright pumpkin orange accents and soft lavender eyespots, decided not to come visit my cabin this past autumn. I’ll be planting more natives and hoping that I can entice them this coming butterfly season.
Roaming around I found evidence of other happy creatures enjoying the snow, besides me. These bird tracks (below) look to me as if the little guy took a flying leap off the high dive, hunting for the spot where I left him some sunflower seeds.
Another sign of seasons past, I found snow atop what is left of another butterfly and hummingbird favorite, Bee Balm, Monarda didyma (below). Looking quite different than in the summer when it is a brilliant scarlett. It would hardly get any notice now in mid-winter, except for its rich texture.
And speaking of textures, I found my lane to be a wonderful pattern (below). Of lace? Of letters? I kept looking to see if there were actually any letters formed in the intricate designs, created by the pine needles that had fallen with the wind. I found no messages though.
Another relic of a bygone season, the empty seed pods of Butterfly Weed, Aclepias tuberosa (below). I hope that nearly all the seeds that were in these pods are now in the soil, just waiting for spring and summer to sprout up and bloom again for me, and for the butterflies, such as the Monarch that so greatly depend on the Milkweed family.
And more seed heads. This is what is left of Purple Coneflower, Echinachea purpurea (immediately below). The seeds attract many of the seed eating birds such as the Goldfinch, Carduelis tristis (seen in the second picture below), chowing down on the Black-eyed-Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida, seed heads that I left for them. I’ll wait till spring before I clean up my garden. Leaving food for the birds to enjoy during the winter attracts them to my yard, pleasing the birds and pleasing me.
Still a good bit of winter yet to come. I’m hoping for many more inches of snow!