Appreciating the Beauty of Winter

By Dawn Gerlica, Lantern Court Horticulturist

While it’s easy to get caught up in the negatives of below normal temperatures and the work of shoveling out after a winter storm, there are still many things to find outside that are beautiful or offer hope for the coming spring. These are a few current images from walking around Lantern Court at the Holden Arboretum.

Have you ever found something that looks like this? Hanging like a brown leaf left from last fall that stayed hanging and wrapped tightly on a spicebush stem? Most likely it is not a leaf, but the cocoon of a promethea silkmoth, Callosamia promethea, that is slowly changing from the caterpillar that wrapped itself in silk and leaves last fall to transform into the gentle giant moth during the cold months of winter.

Some species of Rhododendron curl their leaves in response to the winter cold. It’s more common to think of animals moving, but plants move and change in their own ways.

The red twig dogwood, Cornus sericea, blazes forth against the winter white. Soon leaves will be forming and covering the red with green, but for now they put on their winter show.

With the blanket of snow, the rock garden looks more like the alpine habitat it is meant to imitate. Snow covered rocks look like mountain moguls waiting for skiers.

It’s hard to catch in photos, but sun on the snow looks like shining diamonds, especially if the snow has just fallen and it stands undisturbed.

Under the trees, if you catch the moment when the snow lets go and falls from a branch, it almost appears misty in the shining sun.

While it is February and it may seem like the longest month of the year, maybe take the time to get out and enjoy what beauty we have outside because, like the snow, these views will soon be gone for another few seasons.