Deep Snow


The storm cell that brought deep snow to the area sat over Spokane for nearly 30 hours and dumped a couple of feet of snow. That’s more than people here can remember in many, many years. Schools, many government offices, and some businesses were closed today.

Fresh snow doesn’t look good for very long, so I headed out in the brilliant morning sunshine to visit three more gardens today. The greenhouse in the photo was just added to Sherrie & Ron Guiles’ garden last summer. The tree in the foreground is a cutleaf Japanese Maple, which maintains its characteristic shape even under the thick snow cover.

Walking around in the garden where Ron & Sherrie hadn’t used their snowblower to create paths was challenging because the snow came up to my knees. As before, I had to plan my route to keep my footprints out of future photos.

In one area of the garden the outline of a boxwood parterre was barely visible as a soft raised swirl of snow. Everywhere I looked, the contours and textures that had been so prominent and colorful during the growing season and into autumn were soft, flattened, and muted into shades of blue shadows and golden highlights.

wp9c9196.jpgThe second garden I visited today is a wildlife garden, and in the winter it is a haven for nuthatches, chickadees, pine siskins, house finches, flickers, mourning doves, and dozens of California quail. Bird feeders hang from many trees, and a large covered ground feeder gives a sheltered place to feed near thick shrubs which offer protection.

I shared lunch with Eva & Del Lusk, enjoying the view out the large windows overlooking the garden and watching the birds. Unfortunately, the birds aren’t nearly as comfortable with a photographer wandering around with a long lens and a tripod. I set up several shots and stood very still and waited for the birds to return, but mostly came up empty-handed. My feet eventually got cold and I gave up.

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