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In the Gray Mist

I woke up this morning to a steady downpour. The rain has come and gone, and throughout the day the landscape's stark beauty was shrouded in gray mist.We tend to have dreary, damp winters, and in a month or so I will be tired of it and ready for spring's explosion of color. But now, there is something cozy about the gloom. The moist air settles around me as I drift slowly around the garden, and I have no complaints.

I am fascinated by the silhouettes of tree branches and seed pods. Can you guess what these are?

Hickory nuts

Crape myrtles


I examine the patchwork pattern of lichens growing on a Japanese maple trunk. Lichens are not harmful to trees; in fact, they are a sign of good air quality.

This leaf is clinging to a branch on the same tree:

A bicolor leaf seems to be caught between fall and winter:

The clouds are heavier now, and the mist is turning again to rain. I am moving toward the house when I hear a sweet song piercing the gloom. I walk around a shrub and catch this wren singing from the roof of a birdhouse:

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and may there always be a song in the midst of a rainy day.    Deb

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Reader Comments (19)

It is gray and rainy here too, as is typical through January. I love this peaceful time of year!

December 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

Lovely sunshine here after a frost. Your little Wren is beautiful, finding something to sing about on a dull day. Wishing you Happy Gardening in 2015.

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

Dear Deb, thanks for this beautifully written atmospheric post! The silhouettes of the trees are really statuesque and impressive, something that you only get to see and appreciate in the winter time. It is like a gift of winter to us. Hopefully there will be a song for all of us everyday in the next year! Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year 2015. Hopefully it will be a good one for the gardens as well. Warm regards,

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterchristina

Great captured the beauty of nature !
I wish you a happy New Year !

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEla

Quite haunting images, and very atmospheric. Yet there is definite beauty there :) have a wonderful New Year ahead Debs!

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Crape myrtle - just one of the cuttings I took for the glowing cinnamon bark - is shooting up with an enthusiastic bunch of leaves. Christmas day was grey and wet - today back to proper summer weather - sun and Southeaster as we walked between the mountains and the sea.
Wish you a very happy new year!

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

Lovely. Our gray gloom has lifted today, with the onset of a cold snap. I'm learning, as I age, that a long winter of gray would be difficult for me (but a short winter, of any type, wouldn't be so bad! ;-) ). Bright blue sky with a touch of a dry chill is easier to take. I guess that's part of the reason November and late February/early March are my least favorite months here in Wisconsin. With that said, a few days of gray can be quite cathartic! Your photos are dreamy and very well-done, as always!

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Your photos always capture the beauty of the day, no matter what the conditions. Our skies have been bright blue but rain is said to be horizon for Tuesday and Wednesday and I'm looking forward to that - the more, the better for us! Best wishes for a very, very happy new year Deb!

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Hi Deb. I just got home to Niagara Falls and like you have, it is rainy and gloomy. No snow, but some is expected. I love how you make the best of it with your beautiful photographs. The lichen is such a pretty image. On the way back, I photographed the fog. I find that like you mentioned, a bit of gloomy repose. Your wren is adorable. I bought my cousin a wren house for Christmas. I love those tiny birds.

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

We had the gloom and rain for a week but we sorely needed the rain. Today it was 77 degrees, blue skies and sunny.

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

Loved your photos, they are such a joy...Have a great new year.

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

Love the picture of the wren. Lucky us, we returned to Chicago to find unseasonably warm weather and even sunshine. A very happy 2015 to you!

December 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason

We are having a damp dreary winter too. Very damp. The sunny days are something to be treasured. I wouldn't mind the wet dreary days as much if I didn't need to go out and take care of the horses and deal with the mud.

December 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

It’s lovely crisp sunshine here, rather cold but still no frost – we might get a single frost night tonight but just barely below. Your photos are lovely, whatever weather you have, I hope the new year will bring you lots of good days in the garden.
Happy New Gardening Year!

December 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHelene

I enjoyed your sweet post and you have made a gloomy day so much better! We have the same thing here...cloudy and gloomy...but it is nice to appreciate the finer things in nature! Thanks for sharing!

We'e actually had a good number of sunny days lately. My husband wished for a white Christmas, but I was actually happy with the milder weather. I love the outline of the Crepe Myrtles - too cool! I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

December 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Happy New Year, Deb! I like cozy, rainy winter days, too. They're a good excuse for staying inside and reading. :)

December 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Jim and I are fanatic cat-lovers, and I adored your stories of Autumn.
We had a 16 year old grey tabby once named Freddie who looked just like Autumn.
Autumn is a keeper and I'm glad he owns you!
Thanks for writing.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey Ann Wilson

Happy New Year, Deb. I, too, admire the architectural beauty of trees in winter. Your photos are wonderful.

January 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJean

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