Monday, February 21, 2011

Landscape of My Heart

It's difficult for me to resist the clear, crisp beauty of winter, and despite the possibility of sounding like a broken record I say I love it. It also sounds a wee bit overly dramatic when I say it's the landscape of my heart, but it is true. While I love hiking the mountains of Hokkaido and the foothills of Tokyo with their tea fields and citrus orchards, these trees and hills, grasses and blooms are in my soul. There's no other way to say it, and when I'm home and walking among them I'm happiest. And when it's warm enough to pull out the camera I do so. Here are a few more pictures of a few favorites spotted on one of my long walks.

Goldenrod is another favorite of mine both for it's cheerful yellow fall flowers and it's fuzzy winter seed heads. Providing a much needed snack for birds and mice that linger through these chilly months it (along with the bergamont seed heads pictured with this post) it gives a bit of structure and texture to the winter landscape.

Asters are another fall favorite that leaves behind some adorable fuzzies for the winter months. While I don't get to see the white, purple, or lavender blooms in person, these are a lovely alternative.

Sumac is another graceful beauty that I have come to love. It's bright red pods are rumored to make a mean lemonade, and the color they afford the winter landscape is refreshing.

Me on one of my walks! There's none of my usual fuzzy-headedness as everything is bundled under hats and scarves.


Kateri said...

Having grown up in the rolling foothills of the appalchian mountains, I would have never dreamed that one day landscape like the one in your first picture would be where my heat feels at home. Lovely, very homey post.

Nanc Twop said...

It's bright red pods are rumored to make a mean lemonade,

Yes, they do - had it once as a child. And now you inspired me to find the recipe again. Going to try it? (I probably will if I can find some sumac...)

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks for the good words, Kateri. We're back in Tokyo again, and while I am happy here it's not quite the same feeling as I always find at home and especially in winter.

Nanc, keep me posted! I've never had it, but would love to someday. Depending on where you are, sumac should be just about everywhere. I don't know if there's a better time of year than others to harvest it, though.