Winter Greens

First light in the New River Valley

First light in the New River Valley

When last week started off with this beautiful sunrise,  I suspected that I might be taking a technology break and I did.  I spent my week before the holidays away from the computer and immersed in my favorite activities of exploration and creative play.

After the sun rose higher in the sky, I visited my little pond. where the colorful patterns in the sky had become bright reflections on the surface of the water.

Pond Reflections

Pond Reflections




Can you guess what the bright lights are on the surface of the pond?  I couldn’t either so I moved in for a closer look.  BUBBLES! Big beautiful bubbles of oxygen.

Evidently the pretty green algae underneath the water was happily enjoying the sun too.

Oxygen bubbles produced by the process of photosynthesis float among the maple and walnut leaves on the ponds surface

Oxygen bubbles produced by the process of photosynthesis float among maple and walnut leaves on the surface of the pond.

Next spring the mass of algae will be alive with tadpoles but today it was decorating the winter green surface of the pond with bright, shiny bubbles that look like silvery Christmas balls .  Some of them were 2 inches across, held momentarily by the cohesion and surface tension of the pond’s water molecules.

Anyone who thinks that winter is a bleak colorless time just needs to explore the woods to appreciate the winter greens.

On the walk back to the house this mass of moss was the most remarkable shade of Christmas green! Amazing how something that looks so delicate seems unfazed by the freezing temperatures of late.

Christmas Green MossBows of pine and cedar come into the house this time of year. Most folks consider these and the holly and mistletoe to be “winter greens” but to an artist the “greens” of winter are  many combinations of blue and yellow that transcend seasons.

Christmas Tablescape

My seasonal arrangement under the antique cheese dome in the middle of the dining table celebrates winter greens with moss and miniature vintage trees flocked with snow.

There are lots of natural holiday decorating ideas to bring a little green into your home.  Birds and Blooms magazine blog has lots of good ideas as well as lots of DIY ideas for nature gifts.  My next project is popcorn, peanut and cranberry garlands for the birds.  They deserved a few gifts too!

Enough for now.  Christmas crafting and a little more baking are on the agenda!

Merry Christmas!









About Karen Hines Art

I am an artist living in the mountains of Virginia and expressing my love of nature through painting.
This entry was posted in Christmas, flora and fauna, Nature, New River Valley, Uncategorized, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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