It was a quirk of light. Without it I would have missed the tiny ice garden on my window.
Among the little plants I spotted fern trees, maple leaves, thistle heads, shrubs and grass, perhaps an elm or maybe a beech. The biggest is less than a centimetre, not even half an inch.
The garden is growing on the outer pane of a double-paned window, facing north onto snow-draped spruce trees. Not sure when it took root — last night it was about -30C (-20F) so perhaps that was enough to sprout this grace and beauty.
Bumping up the blue levels on the photo created this fairyland effect.
Ruffed grouse paid us a visit on this snowy afternoon.
First one arrived …
Not finding much of interest in the snow-dusted grass, the saskatoon bush seemed a better prospect.
Then a second showed up …
(What were they eating? Chickadees cleaned off the berries a long time ago).
And finally a third …
They stayed for several minutes, almost hidden among the branches, pecking, looking, pecking some more. Then the party was over. One by one they hopped down and wandered away.
Ruffed grouse Bonasa umbellus
But sun still beams in the garden.
Two heads are better than one, so the saying goes.
This odd-looking lupine is about to find out.
Moral: There’s more than one way to get through life.
Today comes snow.
Soft, sifting flakes.
In the garden, narcissi bend beneath the weight of white.