Monday afternoon...chores done. Snow had been falling very gently all day, and the temperature was barely above freezing.
My chance to head over to Red Butte Gardens again.
The last time I visited there (a whole 12 minute drive away...shame on me for not going more often) was Halloween.
Red Butte has been noted for being especially beautiful in the snow; I had therefore placed a notation to visit there after a snow fall on my vacation "to do" list.
It was still gently snowing when I arrived.
I looked up and took my first shot in the parking lot!
The way snow traces the bare branches of trees is always eye catching. Of course looking up to see it often results in snow being caught in one's eyes...and you can guess what happens when a camera is pointed upwards too.
I was glad I had a microfiber lens cleaning cloth with me!
Yes all the pictures are in color, but look just about the same when switched to black and white.
I must have taken a dozen pictures of bare trees before I moved on to other sights.
The red berries sporting tiny icy drips got a good look.
Other berries sported fluffy white hats.
Frosty blue toned berries with reddish wooden stems were just as lovely as their red counterparts.
Red Butte garden is a rather large place and I almost had it all to myself. I saw just one other couple strolling the grounds unhurriedly.
I took my time too, examining every vista and every plant to see what I could see.
There is a book about winter gardening and how to plan a garden to be equally interesting in the snow. This plaza is a good example of that sort of thinking; the walk way stones and curved hedges are so interesting when highlighted by snow.
Wedding frequently are held in this area. Pity someone wasn't having a wedding in a white velvet cape and fur lined hood.
(December brides can do that sort of look nicely in settings like this one.)
Cute sculptures move up to adorable when capped with snow.
The turtle obviously thought if he waited long enough, something magical would happen in this garden area.
I do hope he is right...
The book suggested planting things that would hold on to their berries in winter.
You can see why that advice is oh so right in the picture above.
For all the wisteria fans out there: The arbors are covered with wisteria that blooms beautifully in late spring, and which turns a lovely bittersweet yellow in fall. The vining bits run wild looking for more things to cling to; this tiny tendril wound up having snow cling to it.
Don't you love how the snow bit at the end looks like a jeweled pendant?
The snowflake shapes can still be partially seen on the edges of things.
You've heard about how a frog placed in a pot of cold water that is slowly headed up will allow itself to be cooked instead of hopping out?
New question: what if a frog is just slowly frozen?
(Not to worry...it is a sculptured frog here. The question must remain unanswered.)
I've walked through this wisteria covered arbor and stood here taking in the scent of herbs and flowers in the spring and summer.
In the winter there is a distinctive scent too, sort of like leaf mulch and water and fir trees.
Quite marvelous in its own way too.
The twirled vine was no bigger than string, yet the snow landed and built upon it a full inch in height at the end.
So silent...except for the sound of pounding heavy equipment work being done nearby. The garden is adding more parking for the summer outdoor concert which hosts top musical performers in summer.
Some year we will go to one of those concerts under the stars.
The sky would deepen, then skiff of snow would fall.
It really wasn't that cold though. The paths stayed mostly clear as the snow did not stick to the darker surfaces.
When I would walk off the paths the snow made that lovely squeaky crunch under my boots.
Just that slight brown hue of the tree trunks lets me know this is a color picture.
In summer the red wing black birds call "share-eee" in the cat tails.
Now the cat tails each are capped with snow undisturbed by the busy birds.
I wonder what birds will eventually feed on these festive berries.
I'm guessing cedar wax wings...but perhaps there are other species as well. I would so love to photograph them gobbling down the berries in the snow.
No frozen water fall here....yet at least.
As long as the temperatures allow some melting during the mid day, I think the falls will continue to run.
The duck/koi pond has a coat of ice upon it though.
In the summer children carefully walk on these stones as a path across the water. I liked how the tree's reflection fell on them clearly while the icy part of the water was opaque.
Need to take a little break? Here's a bench were you can sit for a spell.
Further down the path we go...past the trout sculpture.
Here's another bench. Sure you don't want to sit for a bit?
Maybe think about life in black and white?
Here's how it would look...in black and white.
Not much difference is there?
If you have a December birthday, let me wish you a Happy Year to come. If you are turning five, you really ought to come to Red Butte for a picture with this cake.
Bird houses seemed extra lonely in the cold dusk.
Chickadees were visiting a few of them.
(Little kids just love to climb on the lizards. Some big kids do too...like my daughter for instance.)
So there it is, the snowy land of Red Butte Garden.
If you would like to see these pictures and a few more in a slide show, click HERE to see.
Go ahead, keep dreaming of a White Christmas!