In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s very little that I like about winter. Actually, that’s not exactly true. I don’t truly mind clear, cold and windless days (as if I can order up the weather. I always joke about that. All winter it seems to be very windy here–and then in July when you’re dying for a breath of air–nothing. Weather seems terribly fickle that way).
What I do mind–and this has to do more with the vagaries of my particular ski slope of a driveway and the fact that I have to navigate it with a dog several times a day and with a car at least twice daily–are icy and sleety storms, both of which have become more common. Snow is even acceptable until it starts melting and re-freezing into that icy mess that it makes.
But one of the beauties of winter is that it reveals all the hidden things from the other three seasons. Mind you, I am not talking, as the landscape designers do, about the “bones” of the garden design (and I am probably not talking about that because my gardens don’t have any design!)
What I am referring to are the lovely little hidden things like tiny birds’ nests. Or, in the case of the above tree, large scary wasps’ nests. But if I were this homeowner, I would much rather know that this was here before next season rolled around, in case the queen wanted to reuse this for her colony!
I am always amazed, as I am out walking with the dog, how many birds’ nests I see in the deciduous trees once the leaves have fallen. There are probably just as many in the evergreens that never get seen because those trees and shrubs don’t defoliate.
I know a robin always makes a nest in a blue spruce that I have, but the only reason I see it is because the tree is relatively near a window and I can watch. Otherwise, even though I know the nest is there, I probably wouldn’t see it if I didn’t know where to look.
It’s the same thing with a large eagle’s nest in a tall spruce. Even though the platform has to be several feet across, it can only be seen from just the right angle. Birds are amazing at concealing their nests, as I suppose they need to be to protect them from predators.
So the annual leaf drop gives us a look at their secret world after their have abandoned those nests. It’s a treat–even if I am sometimes too cold to enjoy it for long!