The artwork of winter can inspire

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A large tree shows the contrast between the black stems of bark with the white frost of the season.<br/><br/>
John Zvirovski / The Jamestown Sun
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John Zvirovski.jpg
John Zvirovski, Jamestown Sun garden editor
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

I always look for the positive things during the winter months, since I usually am always craving the heat of summer. To be honest, as much as I complain about it, there are many nice things to enjoy during the season if you just keep your eyes open. There are some days that are better than others, of course.

We use them for washing cars, floors, kitchens, bathrooms and even our bodies.

I remember as a kid while riding the school bus, I would breathe on the windows to melt the ice just to watch the new feathered creations form on the clean pane of glass. Depending on the cold, the design would either form very quickly or at a slower rate. I was always mesmerized at the artwork that was created; different every time. Plus, it was a great way to spend an hour on the bus each day!

Nature has a way of creating beautiful artwork also during the winter months. Depending on how curious you are, you can even spend hours looking closely at the newly fallen snowflakes searching out their unique qualities. Since each snowflake is created differently, it was fun as a child to take out a magnifying glass and look at each intrinsic detail. It is truly one of life’s little miracles to know each one is slightly different from the next. I still find myself looking closely at them today as the fascination never seems to fade.

The garden always takes on a new and different twist during winter. I love seeing the statuary with their little caps of snow on a gentle day like they are frozen in time yet still keeping watch over the garden. The dead grasses in the urns still sway in the wind as if they continue to grow despite the cold. The dead vines hang below as if they just want to create a memory of what used to be months ago. Each element in the garden still has a wonderful dynamic at this stage of the year.

Last week we had some very foggy mornings with low visibility. As these foggy days linger, the vapors begin to cling to every plant material remaining outside. After hours of this process, the frost that accumulates on everything becomes very thick. The evergreens look like they were just taken from the nursery after a fresh flocking and placed into the yard. Some have been decorated with Christmas lights that tend to glow from within this beautiful artwork.


The trees with their numerous branches painted white with just the dark stems of the larger branches appearing from beneath create a wonderful accent resembling a black and white photo. The bushes appear to be twice as thick, as each fine stem is dense with frost giving it a much larger and fuller appearance.

Even items that are not as appealing in the garden such as a chain link fence develop a new and unique feel. With the heavy white frost on the wires, it looks like a delicate trellis surrounding the yard. As much as we enjoy these times of winter, many of them are short-lived as the light breezes of North Dakota soon will blow all of these facets away. I find myself running out before the wind comes along to take as many photos as possible as it is these times that I like to enjoy the most before they are gone. These can be some of the best winter moments in the garden that we must treasure.

Since winter has just begun, take in all the special moments that are sure to come our way in the next few months. There will be days when we get heavy snowfalls with very little wind and everything will look like a winter wonderland. There will also be times when a Midwestern blizzard will blow through the area and create drifts of snow that make a new design in our yards each time the wind shifts. The desert gets sand dunes of various forms and textures; we get snowdrifts with the same effects. Sure, there will be work involved in clearing our driveways and sidewalks but we may as well see the positives in everything around us also, as it will make the season that much more enjoyable.

To the new season and the coming new year, let’s all take a different stance in our views and become just a little more positive and eliminate all the negativity that seems to fill our world. After all, like each little snowflake, each one of us together can make something incredible if we begin to appreciate the sweeter things in life.

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