By Bob Quarteroni
‘What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” John Steinbeck
Winter is not a season to be avoided, or one devoid of interest, color and spectacle.
It simply hides its wonders a little better than the other seasons, trading the green lushness of spring, the gaudiness of summer and the particolored splendor of autumn for more restrained wonders.
But take the time to look and you shall see revealed the magic of the natural world, as a few examples here attest.
A FOREST IN RAINDROPS
“Every raindrop that falls is accompanied by an angel, for even a raindrop is a manifestation of being.” Muhammad
A cold, pelting rain had been falling in the Darling Nature Preserve, near Blakselee. When it stopped, in late afternoon, a crystal clear light washed everything new and lit the forest with untold sparkling raindrops, like these on a rose branch.
If you look closely at each raindrop you can see the forest reflected upside down. A fleeting vision, but one whose beauty is hard to match.
BRIGHT BEAUTY OF BITTERSWEET
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep.” Robert Frost
That indeed is one of the raps against winter: It’s dark, black-and-white and simply devoid of color.
Nothing could be further from the truth, as this oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) found behind our family cemetery in Courtdale, attests.
Also known as Oriental staff vine and climbing spindle berry, it is described as aggressively invasive, but this is one of only two patches