Monday, May 4, 2009

Winter. A Murmur of Unease and Frost

I look forward to winter with a very slight murmur of dread. The sort of murmur that is a paper dry rattle in the DNA. A shifting. A disturbance. Winter. A memory of ice. Snow. Mammoths. Glaciers heaving and grumbling. Whiteness driving pain into the bones of purple hands. There is an unease. There is beauty.

The first frosts.

Ice crystals on railings

and ridges,


and flowers.

Fogged up windows.

Sky, a fragile blue.

Sun low.

Leaves like stained glass windows.

Trees on fire.

The photos were taken this morning and yesterday morning, all at our place or within 50 meters of it. The "stained glass leaves" are a wild plum tree. The rose is might be Dorothy Perkins; the shrub with red berries is a Catoniaster.


Linda Starr said...

Cotoneaster lactea, I recognize it, mine by the koi pond just bloomed with its white flowers and will bear the fruits much later in the winter for the birds. That's a pretty rose, an old fashioned one? Funny how I read here about your approaching winter and I am thinking of my approaching summer, seasons of drastic change from the previous.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Hello, again, Peter. You have a way with words, as well as with painting and pottery. Your opening paragraph is just marvelous; it made my DNA shiver, too.

Your photos are lovely! I really like the 'stained glass leaves.' Although I *know* that the seasons here and there are topsy-turvy, it's still hard to fathom that you're having frost already.

Wishing you a good week.

Peter said...

Linda, What fun that we both have Cotoneaster lactea growing in our respective parts of the world. The rose is likely to be Dorothy Perkins, which is an old rambling rose that dates from 1901 (if my www search has yielded correct information). It's seed parent is R.wichurana, and its pollen parent is Mme. Gabriel Luizet (I must look those two up now).
Of some confusion for me are the various times that people report it flowering. Our one is late summer, as testified by the last of the flowers still hanging on. Some authorities say it should flower late Spring -early Summer. Others say Mid Summer. My hunch is that our poor darling is confused with having to grow in our very changeable climate here, and doesn't quite know when Spring really is!

Hello Pat, thanks for that. I think my DNA has been shivering all day here as it is rather chilly. I do enjoy looking at the world, especially trees and plants, through the camera lens. It makes me stop and take notice of the little things that are around. The stained glass leaves were probably my favorite image from this morning. P.

Arkansas Patti said...

Absolutely lovely pictures Peter with great prose to accompany them. Intellectually I know you are facing winter, still it was a shock to hear you mention winter as we are facing summer. We will enjoy your cool fresh posts as we swelter in the heat. Hope our posts about all that Darn heat, will bring you warmth.

Jewels said...

Beautifully written…your words transferred the cold and I shivered too. : ) The road with the ‘trees on fire’ beckons to be walked in the morning light. What are the tall, columnar trees in the blue sky image? Thank you for your very kind words of encouragement. I intend to keep blogging…spring is just a very busy time for me. It would be fantastic to meet you two and visit your studio and learn all that you are so generously are willing to teach. Have you ever visited America? I have only visited about a dozen states and have never been outside the country.

Peter said...

Hi Patti and Jewels, lovely to hear from you. I have been in Dunedin at the potter's co-op gallery all day, and things are quite slow there at the moment, with few people through the door now winter is upon us, so it is nice to come home and hear from you, and bask in "that Darn heat" of friendly Arkansas. The tall columnar trees are Lombardy Poplars, which grow really well in this part of the world. They seem to cope with wet and fairly dry, heat and cold with great aplomb. In Central Otago, which is part of the country that is directly inland from us, lines of Lombardy Poplars (planted as shelter) make a lovely sight in the autumn with their leaves all golden. They can grow tall too, probably over 100 feet, and, due to having an impressive spreading set of hungry roots, cope with nearly any sort of wind that the weather can throw at them.

I've never been to America, except to one of the airports when I emigrated from England with my parents in 1976. We'd both love to come over one day (somehow), and it would be so much fun for us to meet the people that we are getting to know through the blog. Our odyssey might be worth turning into a book!
All the Best to you both, Peter.

Sylwia said...

Well... here, in Poland, we have SPRING now! :) and I'm very pleased with this. But your pictures shows all the beauty of this season. And your words touched me deeply and reminded me of one of my friends. Thank you.

Peter said...

Hi Sylwia, good to hear from you. It is nice to be able to share some of the beauty that is round about us here. I quite like this time of the year. It is often cold, but sometimes there are still, warm days. It is a time of contrasts. Grey, cloudy skies for part of a day, then blue. Best Wishes, Peter.

Amy said...

such beautiful pictures and writing! The fogged up windows one is my favorite picture.

Peter said...

Amy, Thanks for that. Lovely to hear from you. I'm enjoying visiting your blog and seeing all those exciting things you are learning. Best Wishes. Peter