Winter Wonderland

Winter arrived a few days ago. It was later than usual but it came with impressive intensity. Winds blew, snow fell. And now, all around us, are winter’s wonders.

Spruce trees are particularly appealing after a winter snowstorm.
Spruce trees are particularly appealing after a winter snowstorm.

 

I’m not sure how much snow has fallen, but judging from the snow peaked on top of the Chinese pot, 10 inches/25.5 cms would be a reasonable guess.

 

The Chinese pot is wearing a peaked cap of snow.
The children cavorting on the side of Chinese pot seem to be playing in the snow. Unless they are railing against it.  

 

Near the Chinese pot on the log terrace, more Chinese memorabilia stand guard in the snow. This pair Chinese lions, or fu dogs, has been with us for some 45 years now, in one location or another; we bought them when we lived in Beijing — or Peking, as it was called then — in the late 1960s. They stand near the entry to the house, doing their usual good job of keeping evil spirits at bay.

 

The lions stand guard under an overhanging roof, out of the way of snow.
Since the lions stand under an overhanging roof, they are protected from the snow. I think they look rather fierce but grandchildren have never feared them or their bulging eyes.

 

The stream that runs alongside Glen Villa is gorgeous at this time of year, a Currier and Ives postcard brought to life. The stream will freeze eventually but today, when temperatures hover around freezing, patches of open water create patterns of black and white that mirror the patchwork of snow on the tall spruce trees.

 

Evergreens, snow and open water: a clichéd winter scene that is beautiful nonetheless.
Evergreens heavy with snow, ice patches and open water: a clichéd winter scene that is beautiful nonetheless.

 

Not much is tall enough to show its head above the snowbanks, but this patch of weeds and seed heads is. In another week or so, as snow continues to fall, even they will be hidden

 

Those flat tops may be sedum -- I can't tell. I think the branches in the background are stephanandra, one of my favourite shrubs that looks great tumbling down a bank.
Those flat tops may be sedum — I don’t think so but I can’t tell for sure. The branches in the background look like stephanandra, one of my favourite shrubs for tumbling down a bank.

 

Overhead, icicles dangling from the end of an eavestrough are a remnant of the warm temperatures we experienced as snow was falling. And as you can see in the photo below, it is falling still.

 

This icicle is thin and not very long. Another hanging in a less photogenic way, is three times as thick and at least twice as long.
This icicle is thin and not very long. Another hanging in a less photogenic way is three times as thick and at least twice as long.

 

Snow continues to fall as I write, but bravely flying overhead, oblivious to the weather, is the Glen Villa flag. I was quite pleased to get a photograph of the flag unfurled enough to show the emblem of the old Glen Villa Inn.

 

The emblem on the flag is a copy of the one used at Glen Villa Inn.
The emblem on the flag is a copy of the one used at Glen Villa Inn, the resort hotel that stood on the property from 1902-1909, when it was destroyed by fire.

 

Whether you have snow, or sleet, or rain — or if you are fortunate enough to have blue skies and sunshine — 2016 is here. Happy New Year to all! Let’s hope it is a good one.