The Ice Garden

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.

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Garden Party

Ruffed grouse paid us a visit on this snowy afternoon.

First one arrived …

Ruffed grouse

Not finding much of interest in the snow-dusted grass, the saskatoon bush seemed a better prospect.

Ruffed grouse

Then a second showed up …

(What were they eating? Chickadees cleaned off the berries a long time ago).

Ruffed grouse

And finally a third …

Ruffed grouse

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