I overslept this morning, and woke up feeling unrefreshed, my body aching from cleaning the cooker. One day I will remember that “little and often” works better for so many things. My mind was already racing with all the things I “had” to do today day. I stumbled into – and then out of – the shower, dressed in the multiple layers the current weather demands, and stumbled downstairs in search of tea and breakfast. The day already felt as if it was getting away from me. Then I glanced out of the window.

Deep Frost

We’ve not really had snow here, and have looked at photos of nephews almost disappearing in the snow in Sheffield with delight and a little envy. I knew it had been cold again last night, but this looked like the hardest frost we had yet experienced. I’m not sure it was the coldest night so far, and my greenhouse door is frozen shut so I can’t check the max/min thermometer, but I think there was a lot more moisture around, because everything had received a deep and almost fluffy coating of white.

Verbena Bonariensis

The frost was accompanied by an almost eerie soft light from the almost-fog, and a hushed stillness broken only by the occasional birdsong or rustle from a foraging robin.

Frozen Joe Pye Weed

I’ve never been so glad that I leave the seedheads on most of the perennials. As I wandered around the garden, juggling camera and tripod, the hushed and ethereal beauty of it all began to sink in to me.

Cyperus eragrostis

Trying – and frequently failing – to capture some of the beauty with my camera, I kept spotting new things to delight in. Until two years ago I thought I had lost this Cyperus eragrostis. I originally planted on a deep shelf in my pond, having read that it would “almost certainly” over winter there. “Almost”… But last year it reappeared in inconvenient and incongruous places around the pond, and I let it be hoping it would re-seed somewhere better. It didn’t, but I am glad that in this case neglect meant I was able to enjoy the site of the frosty green star of one of the seedlings.

Frosted Leaf

Gradually I began to feel more peaceful, more at peace.

Brave or stupid

The sight of this brave but foolish rosebud made me smile.

Frosted Web

I am so grateful that I took the time to go outside and enjoy the moment. These times of stillness, peacefulness, are rare and precious, as ephemeral as this frosted spider’s web which I nearly missed in my busyness.

I am grateful for the freedom to drop everything and head out, camera in hand. Grateful that I embarked on this blogging lark because it has provided me with both the means to record enough of such moments to make it easier to recapture them later, and the incentive to be more aware of my surroundings. Most of all I am grateful for the peaceful calm that still fills me, even after tackling some of the “must be done” tasks that were so weighing me down. I hope you too can find time to take a moment to savour something wonderful, life-affirming, beautiful, funny, inspirational today.

26 thoughts on “Seizing the Moment

  1. Dear Janet, With the frenetic pace of modern life, stealing a few moments to ‘stop and stare’ can sem a luxury. But, in my view, these times of quiet reflection are so necessary for one’s well being. They do, as you say, restore the spirit and refresh one’s energies for the ‘business’ of the day. The frosty images you show here are charming and have certainly captured some very special moments in the life of the garden.

    1. Thank you Edith, I think you are right, these periods of quiet should be regarded as essential to well-being rather than a luxury. I am still feeling the benefit.

  2. Hi Janet, a lovely post and echoed my morning rather too – this morning’s alarm pulled me out of sleep far too early, I was aching and stiff from last night’s second 2-hour badminton session this week as I attempt to get back into club badminton after a few years’ hiatus and surgery last year, and so much to do at work… But indeed a glance outside showed a beautiful heavy frost, and I too went outside to take a few shots and admire the stillness and beauty. I even managed to tear myself away from work at lunchtime rather than working through relentlessly as usual, to take a half hour walk down to the valley floor and back with my camera; only two cars passed me on the lane and it was all rather wonderful. The cold air and steep hill loosened up my limbs and joints again as well as getting the blood pumping. I should definitely do that more often. Now a heavy fog has rolled in and the world is rather eerie outside! I love your photos, they capture the delicate fragility of frost rather wonderfully. Sara

    1. Hi Sara, thank you! I’m impressed at you getting away at lunchtime, something I always benefited from when I was working full time but got around to all too infrequently. I think there is something magical about a quiet winter’s walk. Even my far-from-noticing husband commented on the beauty of the frozen cobwebs when he came in from a country walk.

  3. It’s a great time of year if you can cope with the bitter cold. Lovely photos, you’ve really captured the moment.

    1. Hi Damo. Yes, it is a time to be grateful for lots of layers, the wonders of fleece and a warm house to retreat to…

  4. Hi Janet, those are truly beautiful images you captured. Something about walking outside and really looking is just magically restorative.

    1. Hi Cyndy. Yes, it was a perfectly timed moment for me, helped me rediscover a sense of balance.

  5. It’s interesting how cold and frost work in different ways from day to day. Roofs and roads and fallen leaves were white when we woke up and stayed frosted all day – but the plants in the garden were left untouched. Yours look so pretty this way.


    1. Hello Esther. Yes, it is weird! My garden is currently two-tiered. From around 1.5m and upwards all is covered in thick hoar frost, impossible to capture on camera as the detail just disappears against the white foggy sky. Below that, all is frost-free, if a little damp. Two gardens in one, and quite bizarre.

    1. Hi Shyrlene – it certainly took my breath away, and not just because of the cold.

  6. I know what you mean about “having to do things”. Unfortunately my employer has an influence over such things! I hate having to go out in the mornings in the pitch dark, and then getting home when it is dark again (at this time of year it seems to never get really light at all). It means I seldom get to see my garden except at the weekends. We have had some different weather this week too: no more snow, but all the trees around us are covered in hoar frost, looking very much like the traditional Christmas-card scenes.

    1. Hi Mark, I sympathise, I always hated that “going to work and coming home in the dark” thing. Hope you get to enjoy the garden next weekend.

  7. Janet, you are so right. Even just a few moments of tranquility can make the whole day feel good. Your images are great I especially like the white edged green leaves of the Cyperus eragrostis. The spiders web is amazing too; we obviously search out similar things. thank you for sharing your precious moments of peace.

    1. Hello Christina. I think the Cyperus image is my favourite too, but perhaps that is because it is rather welcome to have some green in the garden! I shall have to try combing out my Stipa tenuissima, I think that would improve my outlook too.

  8. I’m glad you’ve had the time to stop and stare and share. I’m truely grateful – with a bare garden and nothing except the willows for a frost to kiss its wonderful seeing your garden.

    Ps – I’ve the flour wrapped up and tomorrow I aim to get to the Po – if I’m not actually still snowed in! I think I’ll email you about adding the email subby link on my bloglet :)

    1. Hi Fay, happy to share, particularlu given how much I love your walks to the beach! Thank you so much for the flour, no hurry, stay safe! Look forward to your email, just hope I can help…

  9. What a lovely post, Janet! Just seeing your beautiful frosty blooms and foliage makes me feel calmer, too. I have found, too, that blogging has made me look at the garden more closely, and in trying to take creative photos, I have come to appreciate the beauty of simple things. And that is certainly good for the soul.

    1. Hear hear! And your snowy pics gave me a top-up dose, so thank you! There is something so wonderful about the hush of snow and snowfall, the way it muffles everything.

  10. This weather is a great slow downwer and stop opportunity isn’t it? Your photo of the spider’s web made me smile Janet. I have taken similar today of webs underneath the bench I sit on and enjoy a coffee in warmer months. Had never realised that there were spiders lurking underneath :)

    1. Hello Anna. I wonder where the spiders are lurking now! I never see them on their frozen webs, I know some die off over winter and others nest in holes or under log piles, but I am grateful for the artwork they have left behind!

    1. Hi Mike, sorry, just found your comment lurking in the spam folder! Apparently askimet doesn’t like you… So, belated thank you for visiting!

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