An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

December 29, 2010

Snow Falling On Spartina and Loblollies, As Well As Cedars

Like much of the East Coast, we had a white Christmas. Fortunately, we had already arrived where we wanted to be at my parents house on Virginia's Eastern Shore (beautiful in any season). What started out as a gentle snowfall providing nice backdrop to the day's festivities, gradually morphed into blizzard conditions by Sunday, keeping everyone housebound (except for the camera-clad foolhardy). By the time it stopped falling on Monday, there were 14-15" of snow on the ground. However the winds continued and sculpted the fallen snow, picking it up from some spots and depositing it into deep drifts elsewhere. Though it made for good photo ops, I would have preferred something a little less severe and a little less persistent.

Metompkin Marsh (4)

The Next Day

Cold Marsh

Lone Pine (2)

Penny Joins

Snow on Cedars (2)

Snow on Cedars (4)

Loblolly Woods

Norway Spruce and River Birch

Icy Fingers

On Tuesday the sun rose revealing itself for the first time in days, and we were able to make it home, but only because of the efforts of a cousin and his bladed backhoe. Back in Norfolk, the third largest snowfall in the city's recorded history had fallen. Waiting for us at home was a garden full of plants bowing to the ground, and as it warms today I will be attempting to right them and save what I can.


(You can see the complete set here.)


  1. Les,
    Beautiful photographs and handsome compositions. England and Virginia have taken the snow-belt-honor from New England this holiday season.

  2. Yup, that's snow. Looks like the dogs were having a grand time. Love the sunset photo and the icicles one is also pretty cool.
    Glad you made it home, hope there isn't damage to the trees and shrubs.

  3. It's interesting that the marsh (hope I can call it that) holds the same serenity in all seasons. Fabulous sky in the last shot. I like the icicles and tree shot, too. But my favorite is the stand of trees (4th from bottom). That's a great shot, Ansel.

  4. Thank goodness for the foolhardy with cameras accompanied by a couple of good dogs. These are sights I'd never see otherwise. I can't imagine how worried you must be over your garden getting hammered by this extreme winter. Fingers crossed the damage will be minimal.

  5. Glad you were able to spend the holidays with your parents Les. What a gorgeous series of photos you captured, thanks for sharing. Have a very Happy New Year! :)

  6. As I finished reading your post and admiring the beautiful photos (and thinking how glad I was to not be there) I looked up from the computer screen and noticed our rain drops turning to snow flakes. This is only predicted to be a momentary thing, thank goodness. I hope your garden escapes damage!

  7. Dear Les, You took great opportunity of the snow to transform it into such stunning photos! What lovely land . . . the trees and grasses. Beautiful sky as well and your doggies look to be having a blast in it all. From my experience here with heavy snow . . . most shrubs are resilient . . . I hope yours are too! Wishing you a continued Happy Holiday Season. May you have Many Blessings in this coming New Year. Carol

  8. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I particularly like how you framed the one with the icicles.

  9. It may have been severe, but it was certainly beautiful...what a great setting for Christmas!

  10. Great photos Les, they managed to put me in the spirit of Christmas even after Christmas! Scotland is also having the coldest weather in a hundred years this year, brrr.

    Great images, especially the sunset that made me turn the heater up.

  11. Les, I was going to comment on which of your magical pictures I liked the most. I simply cannot decide. I love the fourth one, the one with the dogs frolicking and their ears flapping joyously. I love the composition of the landscape in the snow, with the three evergreens in the right of the frame. The lone tall tree covered with snow on what I assume was it's nor'east side.
    When I read your nature tales I'm reminded of where I grew up in Silver Spring, the third generation of my family to vacation on Maryland's Easter Shore. Your lovely illustrated tales enchant me.
    May your artistic gardener's eye see more abundance and beauty in the coming year.

  12. These are great! Pretty rough weather for you all. (not counting hurricanes)

  13. Gorgeous, gorgeous. I really like the snow (fallen) on cedars photos.

    p.s. Thanks for the comment at my blog.

  14. Your photographs are magical. I went through the whole show at the end and could have watched more. Carolyn

  15. Wow the eastern shore got a lot of snow! We got 6-8" here, the day after Christmas.

    Your photos are beautiful.

  16. Having transplanted my family from Virginia Beach to the Blue Ridge Mountains 6 years ago we;re old hands at handling winter storms. On Dec 18, 2009 we got 25" and just dealt with it, even managing a trip home in spite of it, but we know how devastating that much snow is to Tidewater. Mom called the day after this storm and told us Va. Beach Blvd. was closed to traffic!We only got about 5 or 6" of powder from the same storm and the 40-50MPH winds blew most of that away.

    Hope it melts soon, Les.

  17. Les, you had more snow than we had in Gloucester. I am drawn to the view of the cedars bending yet standing strong against the storm. What a Christmas!

  18. Everyone is getting what is usually our lot for December. Can't say I miss it (it's raining and high 40s here today; weird) but it is a real problem for warmer climes like yours and Virginia. Hope no lasting landscape damage at your place. But sure am glad you ventured our with your camera. You have such a superb eye for beauty in simplicity.

  19. You had more snow than New England, Les. Beautiful images.