Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Red Jewels

The tree is up, the wreaths are on the front windows. It's cold, it's December.

After a grim, gray start today the sun came out and the air was still and it got up to 50 degrees. I got out and turned the compost pile since it wasn't frozen. It takes some effort and I work up a sweat, but it is getting easier the more I do it.

I keep being startled by how jewel-like the red fruits are on the flowering dogwood. They catch my attention every time I walk out the front walk or come up the driveway.

I know this dogwood fruited before, but I don't remember the berries being so eye catching. Red gems all over the tree.

There is something refined about these dogwood berries. They are a deep crimson, and they are sprinkled delicately all over the bare tree, highlighting its elegant shape and showing themselves to best effect against the sky. Now that the leaves are down, I really notice the berries decorating the branches.

A subtle and very subdued look, which is why I may not have noticed them in other years. But this year they make me stop and look.

The low winter (almost winter) light catches them and lights them up and I am always surprised.

Of course it is the winterberry hollies that are the scene stealers when it comes to red berries. But their berries are bright red and jam packed together and make a big fiery colored explosion. Not refined at all, but truly eye catching.

I love having these red jewels decorating my garden before Christmas.