Yule 2015

sycamore seed ball
Platanus occidentalis (Sycamore) seed ball

Why bother with electric Christmas lights when the trees are already bright with colour. Across the street I can see sumac, oak, crepe myrtle and poplar. Each tree is spiced with gold and red and every colour in between.

In exchange, we give our neighbours holly trees laden with red berries and a wild mulberry. It was a flashy neon green last week but today is the clearest yellow. Thanks to the rain the wet bark looks like cinnamon. Humble and magnificent.

This is supposed to be a time of hope. A time when our ancestors feared the longest night of the year. That sounds so wrong to me. Hope is for suckers.  Let us be steadfast, resolute or determined instead.

All around me I see the signs that life is more determined than hopeful about survival. Tiny wild carrot and bedstraw seedlings blanket the soil protecting it from winter rain. Here and there Englemann’s Daisy and Texas bluebonnets already display lush rosettes of green. When the time is right they will explode with colour. Outlier pink evening primroses are already in bloom. “Come bees. Remember spring with us.”

The tradition is to see winter as death. I think the land has a completely different point of view.

anole dec 4
Anolis carolinensis, moulting

This anole must have some powerful telepathy because somehow I noticed her even though she was absolutely torpid from the cool morning air. Maybe I subconsciously spotted that amazing eyeshadow. The leaf she was using for camouflage nearly meant her end because when I pass by evergreens I have a habit of shaking off fallen pecan leaves that get caught in the branches. As if moulting in the cold wasn’t uncomfortable enough … being launched into the wide blue yonder would have hurt a whole lot more.

She remained in that spot for hours. Steadfast.

The news from the Paris is that our leaders have failed us and the planet. All talk; no action. Father Christmas won’t be coming this year so we must look to older icons. Demeter relentlessly searching the earth for her missing daughter; Mary fearlessly cradling her infant in the straw. See hope there if you like. I see fierce women doing what needs to be done. Steadfast. Resolute. Determined.

mistletoe 2 dec 2015
Mistletoe, evergreen. I spotted a few new berries but most of the branches are only starting to flower.