Winter respite

We’ve had much-needed rain here the last few days, and this afternoon is the first time blue skies have peeked through clouds. Many of you have come through more than a week of unbearable cold and/snow snow. I thought we could all use a bit of respite from winter today, and so I’m sharing reminders—photos from last summer I didn’t get to share with you then—that summer will be here in a few months:

A little flower known by many names: Clematis viorna, Northern Leatherflower, Vasevine

A Carolina lily, North Carolina’s state wildflower

Here’s an interesting article about telling the difference between a Carolina lily and its very similar cousin, the Turk’s cap lily. Just so you’re prepared if you see them this summer.

How do you find respite from winter when it turns dreary?

A joyful 2018

Happy New Year! I hope this week is bringing you joy so far. Joy is my word for the year, and I’m hoping to find ways to experience more joy. Not necessarily epic ways, but more day-to-day moments that bring joy.

Because of a crazier than usual first few months of this year, I need to make some changes here at the blog. Posts will be shorter (most weeks) and will contain maybe just a photograph or two that I love and want to share with you. This week’s photo brings me joy, and I hope it does the same for you.

An otter plays–and poses–in the water.

By the way, the brain teaser in last week’s post about Christmas gold relates to today’s post. The card says, “I am joyful.” The “I am” is spelled out in the stem and leaves, and the “joy/ful” is spelled in the tulips.

What brings you joy?

Revisiting the colors of Christmas: Gold

I hope your Christmas was wonderful. You may still be visiting family, or still cleaning up Christmas bows and boxes, or dealing with post-Christmas blues, or maybe you’re traveling home today. Wherever today finds you, I hope it’s a golden day for you.

The light this time of year seems especially magical, and I love to take in winter’s golden sunsets, just like yesterday’s:

Today’s post revisits the color gold: golden stars, gold haloes, gifts of gold. I hope you enjoy reading it.


Merry Christmas! I hope you’re enjoying time with your family and friends, as well as taking time to ponder the great gift of Christ’s birth and promise of His return. Continue reading

Revisiting the colors of Christmas: Green

I’m super late this year in getting a tree and other decorations put up, almost to the point that I’m wondering if it’s worth the effort (though I know the answer to that is, “Yes!”).

I originally wrote this post right after the shootings at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn. I needed to read this one again as we reach the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. Perhaps you, too, need to hear the words again?

The color green, especially in winter when so much is gray and brown, reminds us of this jumble of emotions and helps bring us hope that life will bloom again.

Continue reading