Witch hazel

Witch hazel

“But the winter was not given to us for no purpose.  We must thaw its cold with our genialness.  We are tasked to find out and appropriate all the nutriment it yields.  If it is a cold and hard season, its fruit, no doubt, is the more concentrated and nutty. . . ”
— Henry David Thoreau, Journal

The sun was shining — a rare occurrence this winter season — and I was moved to go outside for a walk.  In the spirit of adventure, I made my first visit to the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden at Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum.  What a delight to see things blooming in this seasonal garden, proving that even winter yields its fruits.

Washington Park Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum

Orange beauty witch hazel

Orange beauty witch hazel

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Ruby glow witch hazel

Ruby glow witch hazel

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Cyclamen patch

Cyclamen patch

Hellebores

Hellebores

Snowdrops, Washington Park Arboretum

Snowdrops, Washington Park Arboretum

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

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A Witch Hazel Kind of Day

February 13, 2015

“I cherish a witch hazel kind of day, a scrap of color, a light in the window when winter is closing all around.”
— Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

Witch hazel

Witch hazel

Cheerful yellow witch hazel, a spot of color in winter's gloom

Cheerful yellow witch hazel, a spot of color in winter’s gloom

“In this book, I am looking for what I miss, every day, right in front of me, while walking around the block.”
— Alexandra Horowitz, On Looking:  Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

The book On Looking

The book On Looking

“What an epiphany to reconceive a city . . .”

I really like the idea of this book.  In it, Alexandra Horowitz takes short urban walks with eleven “experts” in various fields, and as they share what it is like to notice things through their eyes, Horowitz herself begins to see with new-found vision and understanding.  The eleven walking companions are:  a 19-month-old toddler, a geologist, a typographer, the illustrator and writer Maira Kalman, a field naturalist and insect expert, a wildlife biologist, an analyst of pedestrian movement, a medical doctor, a blind woman, a sound engineer, and a dog.

I was hoping one of her experts would have been a horticulturist or botanist, because it is most likely plants that I attend to on the walks in my neighborhood.  It would have been instructive to compare notes.

I know one thing.  This book will prompt you to go out for a walk around the block in your neighborhood.  Here are a few photos of a late winter walk through my eyes and camera lens:

Crocuses

Crocuses

Rhododendron bud

Rhododendron bud

Witch hazel

Witch hazel

Sunlight through kale leaf

Sunlight through kale leaf

New leaves

New leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witch Hazel

February 21, 2012

The witch hazel is blooming, mostly in yellow, but some pink, too.

Witch hazel adding a touch of yellow to our gray winter days.

Witch hazel bloom

Witch hazel in bloom at Green Lake

Pink witch hazel?

Another bush with witch hazel blooms and old leaves

Still life with witch hazel and old leaf

Watercolor sketch of witch hazel and leaf