December | Solstice
I am a winter person. I’ve always loved the cold, the snow, the long nights—the pink and purple mornings at dawn, with navy blue clouds that seem to evaporate behind the low rising sun. My dog Miso and I headed out into the snow for rosa spp. (rosehips), which become more tart and potent the colder it gets.
By the end of December, most plants are in their full winter state. Verbena has seeded itself and it’s long skinny stalks stand up straight in piles of white snow. Frasera speciosa (Gentian), which blooms every 20-80 years and then dies, is folded over itself—it’s once white and pale purple blossoms are now coffee brown and dry.
Not all plants are asleep though. Juniperus scopulorum trees bloom through winter, pollinating with open triangular blossoms that look like small succulent flowers.
Evergreens like Picea (Spruce) and Pinus (Ponderosa) seem more vibrantly green than ever, drinking melting snow through their branch-like needles.
As we move closer to Winter Solstice, our shortest day and longest night of the entire year, I find it so much easier to look forward to spring.