January 2, 2010
Sunshine and blue skies brighten many cold, winter days from the Piedmont to the Coast of North Carolina. Sparkling crystals of frosty mornings melt with the first beams of sunlight. Snowfall and ice are rare events. Some years, we have no white precipitation. Most years, we'll have a light dusting of snow that disappears quickly. Once in awhile, we'll get a deep snow.
Evergreens, both native and ornamental, provide evidence of year-round life in the gardens, parks and woodlands. We watch the bare, graceful branches of maples and willows for the first buds that indicate spring is coming. Camellias and hellebores bloom. Holly berries provide rich color.
Ducks and swans still swim on ponds while herons, egrets and ospreys continue fishing without barriers of ice. Songbirds sip and splash in the shallow, rocky edges of streams.
While we can have days of rain, our winter months are interspersed with sunny days that lure us outside to break the doldrums of cabin fever. Get up, bundle up and go for a walk.
Photo taken by Freda Cameron at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham, NC in January 2009
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