As wintry as it gets in these parts. Highs in the twenties (F) with a steady freezing drizzle. Great time for a walk.
Skies are bleak, leafless limbs succumb to winter's icy grip. Gum ball hangs by a thread, clinging to her lofty perch, delaying the inevitable...
Sleet and freezing rain pelt the forest edge. The ghosts of autumn shrink from Winter's frigid gaze.
Faces downcast, their pallid forms blur beneath the glaze.
Once lithe and graceful, brittle stems creak and bend; is this the end?
Silently, the tight pink bud gives answer, as last year's fruit gape into emptiness.
At her feet, sweet gums future wait patiently for the bitter cold to recede.
Bed of worms? Den of serpents? Unnatural relic. Not green.
A single green leaf, in the dead of winter, by the brief light of day, conspires with the elements to bring forth summer's orchid. Crane-fly orchid.
Winter Green! Spotted wintergreen, or pipsissewa.
More winter green, Heartleaf or Wild Ginger.
Green with hint of red, smilax, greenbrier, catbrier, cat greenbrier...
Moving up from the forest floor, some of winter's most common greens...
The forest gloom yields to the gleaming green leaves glistening beneath their still-hardening shells.
Blemishes diminish 'neath winter's spell
As margins soften, shadows darken
Freckles, scars and veins vanish in the glaze
Flowing, slowing, ceasing...
And, everywhere, the pointy green leaves with red accents.
Hooray for holly wood.