Prince Snow Farm



The calendar tells me that winter has barely begun, yet I feel that familiar yearning for warmth, flip flops and arms full of fresh picked flowers and vegetables.  

I step outside and throw my camera strap around my neck. Even this simple motion seems awkward, labored. The camera strap gets tangled in my winter layers, and lays clumsily on top of last year's blizzard crocheted cowl, (the product of candlelight, boredom, and a need to stay warm). My newfound (and well-loved) fleece lined tights add an extra layer of snuggly warmth beneath my jeans. My green Muck boots have been temporarily replaced by a cozy pair of snow boots.
As I head down the hill, the cold air bites at my cheeks. An unexpected gust over-fills my lungs, leaving me out of breath for a moment, a sign that I will have to work for what I want today.

I look towards the garden. Dormant yellowed and crimson grasses criss-cross an informal path, urging me forward.
In summer, this ritual is so much more natural. I walk out of the sleeping porch, raise my camera, and a poetic scene is mine for the taking: a newly blossomed hydrangea, an unfurling frond of a wild fern, a still intact robin's egg laying solemnly on a tuft of green grass, a turkey feather lending itself as art.

 But today is not so easy. The garden waits in a state of limbo. Cleaned beds are scattered with wind torn oak leaves and needles shed by varied conifers. The barren zinnia beds, (lining the entrance), seem to echo a color from their naked soil; an echo of beauty and life. An echo of hope. 

The woods beyond the garden bring forth an entirely different emotion. Here I see things I have carelessly overlooked in the summer: not one , but two stonewalls, (lining the back of our property), show me a texture and style I have missed in the overgrowth of summer's leaved bittersweet vines. I  pause, thinking of the builder nearly 200 years before. Was this work something that brought them pleasure? Or was it a necessity…..marking boundaries of their property. I wonder if it was Prince Snow, (the builder of our home in 1830) who may have built the walls…..

Red berries snake their way high into the dormant oaks and lofty pines, adding a remarkable pop of color to the season's barren landscape.

Their vines are bare and show off in twists and loops….

It is here that we scavenged our favorites to create the rustic fence that fronts our garden.

As I head back to the house, the birds and squirrels are having a party….feasting on the filled feeders, and scavenging on the seed that covers the grass,
 (we randomly scattered it during the snowstorm)...

The Maple seeds seem plentiful and tasty….

The fence picket lends a sturdy perch…..

….and the unraked leaves of autumn act as a makeshift birdbath…..allowing captured snowmelt to become nourishment……

As I head back in, the warmth of our home is a welcomed feeling….

….and I choose to use the motivation of nature to encourage a bit of creating….

….a snip of this…..

….a scrap of that…..

The colors of the garden are here year-round…..

They are hidden around every corner.

They lay gently across our hearts…..

…filling the gap of the true petal and stem….of ripened fruit and vine….

And they are a valiant replacement.


  1. I am such a product of my environment and marvel that anyone would venture out so early on a COLD day. When the chill hits the air, I tuck in at home and savor the cold as a time for creativity.

    But, if I tucked in at Prince Snow Farm, I would miss so much. I love the beauty of your gnarled branches and the little creatures venturing out, like you, in the cold.

    1. Aw thanks Carol….I am not motivated like this every day, but sometimes you just need to get out!

  2. Fabulous poetry today Monica. And it's all around your home and property, for the taking and making. Each step was a wondrous adventure into your mind and a vigorous walk back inside to put everything together into a lovely memento of the day. Those little PRECIOUS!

    I am writing a poetry piece today and also reading Seamus Heaney's "Open Ground" collection of poetry. Please, if you have not read him, DO SO. He will blow your poetic mind.

    BE WELL! Anita

  3. I enjoyed your mix of winter and summer and Valentines. We're having an easygoing day and I'm catching up on my blog-menting. I did a post this morning showing pix of my surprise color hyacinth. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    1. It was a mix….wasn't it! I will pop by thanks!

  4. Oh Monica, this leaves me completely in a breathless state. Not breathless as in a labored breath after a run or digging a huge hole for some plants. No. Breathless as in pure delight. Magical words the way you describe every detail. I learn so much from you. I truly hope one day we can meet. Everything you create is pure and real and just beautiful. Breathless. xoxo Jen

    1. Oh Jen….thanks so much for this. You have made me smile from ear to ear! What a lovely compliment and encouragement from a friend! ( too bad we didn't catch southwest airlines accidental fares!)

  5. Hi Monica, just what I needed... a bit of winter poetry to bring me out of the winter malaise that seems to have set in lately. What with the warm temperatures and all the rain washing away the miserly snow we have had so far this winter I've been feeling particularly grey. Your post has raised my spirits and gosh, I might even hit my studio for a bit of creativity...
    Thanks bunches my sweet blogging sister!
    Beth P

  6. Not sure if these are current
    pictures of your yard or pics
    from before the snow, but they
    are all lovely. Yes, this time of
    year reveals so much--about our
    yards and about ourselves : )

    Stay cozy....

    xo Suzanne

  7. Even in winter your grounds are beautiful but even more beautiful are your words!

  8. Your pics are just lovely. I love the photos from your yard, you have such a great eye. I especially love the Valentines, love to do something like that my mantle, I just don't seem to be able to find a time for some reason.

    I hope you're enjoying the snow day today!


Thanks for chatting!

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