The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

December Observations: Winter Wonderland


This is the first year a Christmas tree towers in our living area since we moved into this house. I never thought I had enough room but just as there is always room for one more plant, I finally found a spot. I enjoyed pulling out the ornaments I’ve collected over the years. Ornaments that belonged to my grandmother and great aunt. Ornaments that remind me of a woodland forest and magical creatures. I have been enjoying silent evenings in my indoor wonderland tucked in among the twinkling lights and icy glazes.

Icy Branches
Woodland Fairy
Ladybug in the Tree

Santa has sailed his presents in a canoe but here, there are no palm trees or coconuts. Here, there are frosted pine cones.

Santa in a Canoe
Frosted Pine Cones

Outdoors the spruce in the Woodland Edge section of the garden is decked out with birdseed eggs – a wonderful gift from a wonderful friend. (Thank you Jen!) A group of sparrows has tucked themselves into the thick cover of the spruce for winter. They will peek out and peck at these edible ornaments, take a sip from the heated birdbath. Occasionally a chickadee or titmouse will also drop in. It is indeed a gift to witness the magical creatures enjoying these eggs in my outdoor “woodland forest.”


Whatever remains of the birdseed eggs is now buried in a velvet blanket of snow because overnight, winter knocked. The wind howled, the snow blew, the Christmas tree fell over – indoors. What is there to do but to buck up and dig in? This more resembles the sometimes chaotic Christmas “spirit” and our north country winter. The tree is once again standing tall, minus a few ornaments that were eaten by the fall. The snowblower works! The shovel is cheaper than joining the gym. I am happy for the snow and its insulating blanket. I hate the wind. The birds, magical creatures that they are, survive. But the Cooper’s Hawk swooped in on winter’s winds today. I am usually visited by a Cooper’s Hawk and a Sharp-shinned Hawk each winter. (Cornell has a great write up on distinguishing between these two very similar hawks.)

Bird Bath in Snow
Bird Feeder Topped with Snow
Drift Catches Drift

So I count down December in these winter wonderlands, and the just shoveled paths are clear for the New Year. Last evening I watched a rabbit hopping to it – don’t eat any more of my Northern Lights Azalea! At least it’s now buried in snow. Mojo (my dudest of doodles) “chased” him out back (not quite as quick as a rabbit), but then the rabbit startled me by running a circle around the entire workshop, right past me, and returning to the same spot to hide! Mojo didn’t have a clue. I wonder if this is a sign –  will I be clueless, or running around in circles in this New Year?


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

5 thoughts on “December Observations: Winter Wonderland

  1. We had a foot of snow just before Christmas and 2 more feet from the current snow and it is still snowing here…it looks wonderful and very wintry. The deer and rabbits had been out and about until the latest storm. I love all the decorations of the season especially the snow! Here’s to a bright, shiny, clear New Year!

  2. Kathy, what a beautiful Christmas story and I’m betting you won’t be running around in circles. You are too level headed. Sorry about the tree fall (did you yell TIMMMMMBERRRR????). Something to be said for a hook in the ceiling and a substantial colorful ribbon! Happy New Year!

  3. Kathy, I’ve just found my way to your new site. I like the larger format; it’s simultaneously bolder and more airy. Your birds must be very happy with all their gifts! Your winter wonderland looks a lot like mine. Winter was a dud here last year, so I’m hoping for the real thing this year.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. I enjoy snow on the ground, but not on the roads. I try and keep the bird feeders stocked. I do not like the wind and I’m afraid that we will not be seeing much of the sun until March.

  5. I like those festive seed balls that your friend made you. They look very festive hanging in the big evergreen and the birds are sure to love them. We had a Christmas tree fall over more than once. I’ve learned to hang my most precious ornaments in such a way that they can survive a fall! Happy holidays!

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