Thursday, January 17, 2013

Looking for spring, finding winter

As our cold spell continues—every day in January has seen night-time lows below freezing—I’m getting ever more eager for spring to arrive. This morning, after dropping my daughter off at school, I decided to swing by the UC Davis Arboretum in hopes of finding at least a few harbingers of spring, like jonquils or paperwhites. Instead I found a sea of plants covered with frost.

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Frosty morning at the UC Davis Arboretum

The temperature at 8:30am was just above freezing but with sun rising quickly, the frost was melting fast. I quickly took a series of photos to capture this ephemeral beauty.

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Happenstance rose (Rosa ‘Happenstance’)

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Happenstance rose (Rosa ‘Happenstance’)

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Caledonia hebe (Hebe ‘Caledonia’)

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Dawrf pincushion flower (Scabiosa columbaria ‘Pink Mist’)

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Pine muhly (Muhlenbergia dubia)

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Pine muhly (Muhlenbergia dubia)

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Pine muhly (Muhlenbergia dubia) and ‘England’ lavender (Lavandula ‘England’)

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Giant needle grass (Stipa gigantea) and window-box wood sorrel (Oxalis rubra)

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Window-box wood sorrel (Oxalis rubra)

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Window-box wood sorrel (Oxalis rubra)

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Germander (Teucrium × lucidrys)

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Yellow horned poppy (Glaucium flavium)

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Lisa Marie lavender (Lavandula ‘Lisa Marie’)

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New England aster (Aster novae-angliae)

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Dwarf horehound (Marrubium supinum)

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Oak leaf with frost

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Purple wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’)

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Purple wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’)

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White-blooming violet (Viola sp.)

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Kniphofia hybrid

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Opuntia compressa

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Agave bracteosa

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Yucca recurvifolia

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Yucca pallida

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Snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum)

Many plants seemed completely unfazed by the cold. Some were even blooming. Here are a few of them.

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Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’

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Lily of the the Nile (Aganthus praecox, apple green foliage);
I don’t know what the other plants are

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Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

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Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

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Grevillea ‘Scarlet Sprite’

I didn’t see what I had come to see, but what I found was even more beautiful because I hadn’t expected it.

4 comments:

  1. Frosts on plants has its own unique beauty. Not always good for them (actually, is it ever good for them? At least hardy ones tolerate or are indifferent of it) but they do look pretty and make great photo subjects.

    Great photos as always, and love the title of your post as well :)

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  2. Very pretty! The frost improves things briefly, but it's hard to accept when you're expecting -- and longing for -- spring. :-(

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  3. Some very pretty photos -- I especially like the happenstance rose and pine muhly shots.

    (I think the New England Aster ID is incorrect.)

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  4. I absolutely love how you capture the beauty of frost on plants. At first gland on the Rose happenstance, I thought is was some type of variegated plant. I love this. Thank you.

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