Colors are muted, but contrasts abound: The pond fountain with
its frozen base becomes a study in light and shadow. A tangle of
dead grasses on a sunny bank still holds a hint of autumn warmth,
contrasting with the black-and-white geometry of a snow-covered bench.
Our winter weather, too, is highly variable, going from sharp cold spells
to sudden springlike warmth. Squirrels often dash around at ground level
on their cryptic errands, only retreating to their leafy nests high in the trees
when the cold intensifies. A stand of Bald Cypress knees seems to bask
cheerfully in the sun nestled among coppery Beech leaves. In very late
winter the River Birch's bark blushes a barely perceptible pink in sign of
the approaching spring, but there still may be time for an occasional
snowfall to transform the landscape into another world.