Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Long January Thaw

My friend Jo who blogs at Through the Keyhole in Yorkshire, England, posted about a walk she took today; she called the post, 'Grey and Dismal.' I could use the same heading here. This week, each melancholy day followed another with drizzling rain and fog. Nevertheless, like Jo, we set off for our daily walks around our property and felt better for them. Of course, we don't have the expanses of green grass you see in Jo's pictures, nor a Tudor-Jacobean house with grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, to add interest to our hike. (Do you detect a note of envy? Check out Jo's post and you'll understand why.) Yet fields of stubble have their own beauty.

The top field shrouded in fog
The lower field with wind-damaged trees

The mild weather persuaded the fish to swim, albeit sluggishly, out of their hiding places in the pond. Maybe this one is heading for the crate of plants looking for food.
Koi fish seen through the protective net over the pond

Our walk generally takes us through the shade garden, along the Woodland Walk, behind the barn, down the edge of each field and along the road to our starting place. We usually make three laps. H.H. says it's about half a mile. Feels more like a mile to me.
Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky' seed heads.

Hakone Grass Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold
The Old Cedar Tree

Into the Woodland Walk

In the Woodland Walk the deer have decimated hellebores and heuchera. Only one hellebore has a few remaining leaves.

Deer-chewed hellebore

As we walk we discuss the work we need to do in the spring and changes we would like to make. We will clear up part of the Woodland Walk and add a stone structure -- a cairn. Watch this space ...

Rain drops on White Pine

 When we near the barn, Billy peeps out. He probably wonders if we are bringing him food.

 Buds on the rhododendron give a tiny hint of hope for spring.

I don't think I suffer from seasonal affective disorder but, like Jo, I'm happiest when the sun shines and there are flowers to enjoy. Thank goodness for the Amaryllis bulbs I forced. They continue to give me great pleasure this winter.

Amaryllis 'Clown' has eight beautiful blooms today.

That may have been our last walk for a while as the National Weather Service issued a warning for a northeaster in our area starting tomorrow with snow, sleet and high winds. Oh, boy. But it IS January and this was a long January thaw.

Pamela x

I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Who needs expanses of grass? Your place has a unique beauty of its own. We, too, have been experiencing gray and dismal days recently, but, oh, well, it is January.

    1. Somehow the American spelling of the word 'gray' feels grayer than the English spelling.

  2. Your photos are hauntingly beautiful! We've had a January thaw lately, too. It was near 50 yesterday, and though the forecast calls for cooler weather, 30s and many days about freezing are ahead. Winter started early here, but January has been warmer than usual. I hope the Nor'easter isn't too bad for you.

  3. As I said in my reply to your comment on my blog, it's amazing that we're so many miles apart and yet we still seem to follow the same weather patterns. I do love a wander around Temple Newsam but to have such a beautiful property as you've got would give me endless pleasure, I know that you spend a lot of time and hard work to keep it looking so good but it's definitely worth it. I hope we both see a little sunshine soon. Thank you for mentioning my blog.

  4. We had grey and drifting fog today.
    But also sun and hot to garden!

    Sorry to see wind damaged trees. Hope your predicted weather is not too unkind.

    1. We didn't get much snow but the winds were brutal. On our walk this morning we noted a fallen tree (a small one) and several branches on the ground. Not too bad, thank you.

  5. Lovely photos, Pam! We have had some warmer days, but so far not enough to melt the 2+ feet of snow on the ground. They have just put a crust of ice over the top of everything as it freezes at night. So far I've managed to keep my spring fever in check by looking at photos of flowers in my archives. :) Stay warm!

  6. It's getting colder here. We've had a mild winter really, but the temperature is dropping quickly and is forecast to get colder over the next couple of days. Keep warm xx

    1. Welcome to my blog, Cheryl. It's great to receive visitors from my homeland. I'm going to pop over and visit your blog now.

  7. I always have to force myself to get out in winter, but I do always feel better for it. (I've learned since moving up north that I do suffer with the lack of sunlight. I say I am like Superman, powered by the sun!) The fog makes quite the pretty scene in your garden, even though I know it makes for a grey type of day. The deer have been after my hellebores as well, though I would have thought they would have found more tasty fare elsewhere in this mild winter.

  8. You know Pam, I do love everything about winter. I find it beautiful and get to see birds that I cannot any other time of year. We have had a lot of fog this past week too, but I also find that interesting as a photographer. I will give you those gray, snowless, mud filled days are the worst. Thanks for your tour. I found it a beautiful walk.

  9. Isn't it amazing that a half mile walk can feel more like a mile in winter and a few paces on a warmer day? I look forward to seeing your plans for the woodland walk coming to fruition. Stay safe in that storm.

  10. We actually had a few days of winter a couple of weeks ago here in Texas. Today it was bright and sunny and back in the 60's. This week it will be in the 70's. Makes me actually miss winter :-)

  11. It's a common lament among us gardeners, isn't it? Winter is something to be gotten through, just to carry us into the next season of flowers when we come alive!