It will be a long time before we see anything green or blooming in the Northeast.
Winter is a good time to look for interesting stalks and seed pods in the snow.
Well, this plant is not native to New York, and I think, it’s more interesting than beautiful.
I’ve seen it, in gardens, roadsides and woods, all my life.
Wikipedia indicates that Lunaria annua is naturalized, but native to the Balkans and SW Asia.
In both Europe and Asia, the common names refer to money: silver dollar plant, the Pope’s money, coins of Judas, etc.
We’ve always called it “honesty.”
In winter, the stalks resemble an abandoned optician’s shop, vandalized by the winter, with old wire-rimmed spectacles, gone cloudy, or missing lenses.
It’s a tough, almost shrubby plant, that needs no care, and produces nice purple flowers, and self-seeds reliably.
The seed pods are brownish, flat, and oval – -you can see one hanging on in the pictures, darkened by exposure.
But when the outer layers drop off, it’s the inner part of the seed pod that a lot of people like to gather – – almost pearly, like discs of translucent parchment or paper.
In the last shot above, the membrane is shredded by the winter weather. (Tattered honesty, this is New York, after all)
I think the last shot looks a bit sinister, like a display for “Sweeney Todd, Eye Doctor”
If you gather it in the fall, when it’s good and dry, you can slip off the outer covers, scatter the seeds, and bring in the money.
The fallen tree seems to be a clear message – don’t try walking up the icy stream bed.
Never seen this stream completely frozen before.
Even listening very carefully, I could not hear the faintest burbling sound under the ice.
Even the places that look like water, are just clear pools of ice, on top of the milkier layers.
I was taking pictures through a frosted window pane.
This one isn’t the sharpest or most glittery of the bunch, but I somehow like it the best.
Hello from Boston, Massachusetts, Winter Wonderland!
I haven’t posted any pictures from this town yet.
So I thought I’d send a few cellphone photos, from where we’re holed up,
above the snow line and away from the wolves, atop the Hancock Building.
We’re OK up here for now — we have 7 cans of Sterno, 4 boxes of Saltines, and a whole crate of Ovaltine.
Above is a shot of residents fleeing Boston on snowshoes, over the rooftops. That’s Quincy Market to the left.
In the next picture, I think the mound at the bottom is the dome of the Statehouse.
I took a few more pictures from the sledge, when the Lyft dogsledder picked us up.
Here’s the Castle at Park Plaza (on Columbus Avenue)
And the entrance to my subway stop on the MBTA line
And a new advertisement for the ferry to Hingham
Dairy aisle in the Whole Foods store.
“Looking for the Bus Stop, Friday Night”
They warned me the Yankees were a bit on the cool side, and a bit of weather doesn’t bother me.
So long for now! Keep warm!
The old pictures are from the Library of Congress. The engraving is by Conradus Lycosthenes (Switzerland, 1500’s) from the Wellcome Library. The Retreat from Moscow is from the Saratov National Research State University on behalf of NG Chernyshevsky.
Those are actually New York ice crystals in the last photo, as you can probably tell – – sharp-edged, stony-hearted.
I figured everybody’s seen a million photos of Niagara Falls, by better photographers than me! So these are mostly snapshots of the area around the Falls, taken on Saturday.
The freezing spray glazed our coats, so they crackled when we took them off, and added layer after layer of ice to every non-moving object in the area, making a walk kind of tricky, but it’s always very interesting and beautiful to visit the Falls in winter. Until your blood begins to gel, of course.
1,2 = Coin-operated binoculars, coated with ice and turned into friendly-looking robots.
3-6 = Trees and shrubs covered with ice on Goat Island, in the middle of the Niagara River, and the American side of Falls.
7-13 = getting toward dusk, near Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side. The Falls are illuminated with colored spotlights.
I hope everybody out there has a wonderful New Year’s, and best wishes for a peaceful, happy 2018.
I just ran across this poem, “A Crystal Forest” by William Sharp (1913), (and quoted by Emma Watson as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast)
|The air is blue and keen and cold,
With snow the roads and fields are white;
But here the forest’s clothed with light
And in a shining sheath enrolled.
Each branch, each twig, each blade of grass,
Seems clad miraculously with glass:Above the ice-bound streamlet bends
Each frozen fern with crystal ends.