Fall Frost Or Warm Hands Cold Heart

november-17-2008-024Our winters have been milder than normal the last few years here in southeast Tennessee. We were lulled into believing that global warming climate change was here to stay. Bring on those dahlias, we can leave them in the ground and expect a bumper crop the following year, we said happily. No longer. This year will be back to normal, the weather gods are saying. Did our little bumblebee get caught unprepared on the May Night Salvia?november-17-2008-017-2There has been a succession of well below freezing nights and barely above freezing days. And did I mention the sharp spikes of cold piercing us through wool and fleece with the wind chill factored in? The Datura metel seedcase says yes, it has been mentioned before and we should have been prepared.november-17-2008-010This kind of challenge is not going to keep us indoors, however. Photo ops await! The multi trunk silver maple that is our only large deciduous hardwood gives a plethora of seedlings each and every year. This little one caught our lens with the pretty pink stem. It might get dug up and placed in a safe growing place to see if that color remains.november-17-2008-011Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’ is the best of the changing foliage group of the heathers growing here. It goes from bright yellow to brilliant red and every color in between as the temps go from warm to cold and then back again with pleasing pinks and oranges in the transition. One can do without a date on the picture but identify the season by the foliage colors. Yes, we do realize that frost is a bit of an indicator in this particular shot along with the turning maple leaf. Have you not heard of artistic license?november-17-2008-026The little clay bird wearing frosted beak is standing watch in the stump planter huddled close to the Tiny Rubies dianthus. Japanese blood grass is holding onto the red threads before going pale straw later in the season. That change has begun.november-17-2008-049-2Being bundled up from hair to toesies is expected and enjoyed whenย skipping merrilyย outside. Layers are the way to go including cuddleduds, a special brand of long underwear for women of a certain age who might suffer from a deficiency of the human thermostat. Cold hot cold hot, sweater on, sweater off, ad nauseum has become a way of life. Sigh. The cuddleduds claim to keep the body a more constant temperature without cooking one in their own skin. They work too. To go out in the early morning with camera in hand can be a shivering experience. Gloved fingers cannot click and press the needed buttons on the device in hand. New this year are these fingerless elbow length machine washable saviors in a fashion forward heathered charcoal. They are the money.november-17-2008-045Poor confused coneflower got caught with purple petals showing by the ice queen. But look what she has left for us.november-17-2008-045-2Do you see it? Imagine the photo as a clock face and look from the center towards two o’clock. My own heart melted at this sight. Do you think the fairies left us an early valentine?

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41 Responses to Fall Frost Or Warm Hands Cold Heart

  1. Philip says:

    I do see it!
    Shhh, I will not give the magic away, although you dive give a clue…
    How wonderful!
    This post is enchanting and your garden is enchanted!
    Now I get the title!
    How fun!

    Hi Philip, I am so glad you could see it and also got the title pun, A++++ for you! Thanks so much for being so quick, I just now put that post up too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Philip says:

    did, I mean

    Dive to give had a special meaning too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Stuart says:

    Gorgeous photos Frances. I got caught thinking our winter was going to be milder after a few successive warmer than normal cold months. Alas, it wasn’t to be but at least we had better rainfall than previous years.

    Your flowers seem to be enjoying the frost – lol ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hi Stuart, what a treat to see you here! Thanks for the comment about the photos, I have been reading my owner’s manual for the Canon lately. What a difference that makes. We are in for some colder weather and it has already begun here. It seems more like January than November. We continue to be in extreme drought too. The flowers have all but thrown in the towel after all that cold too. Hope we get a respite when my family comes in this week for our Thanksgiving.

  4. tina says:

    It looks REALLY cold Frances. Love the picture of the warm hand-just peaking at the garden? Not so bad here. I just got back from Ohio and it was 16 degrees there! I purchased a few plants-frozen rock solid. I was happy to come home-to relative warmth.

    Hi Tina, welcome back. It has been record cold here but not as bad as 16, close though. Hope your new plants have thawed.

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I see that tiny heart of cold. Good spotting Francis.

    Oh Hooray, Lisa. I wan’t sure anyone would be able to see it. I first spotted it when the photo was full screen and was so excited. Thanks for letting me know you saw it. There is hope for others to pick it out too.

  6. Brenda Kula says:

    Now I see it! I seem to wear shorts most of the time. Even if everyone else has on a jacket. Menopause has sent me into hot overdrive, with no end in sight. Robert’s assistant the other day asked if I had a heart, cause he was shivering and freezing. And I was walking around taking photos, oblivious. Just so you know, I told him no!

    Hi Brenda, oh good, I want everyone to see it. I was thinking about drawing a circle around it but didn’t want to dirty up the photo. HA to your answer to the assistant. The menopausal heartless woman! With camera.

  7. Racquel says:

    Aw precious little fairy wings resting on that coneflower. What a great shot! You are definitely having some colder days in Tennessee than I am Frances. No snow or heavy frost yet. Love those fingerless gloves, I’ll have to invest in a pair of those. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Colder than you? Not fair! We have been breaking low records here every night. Boo. I got the gloves at good old target. I wear them to drive the car too.

  8. joey says:

    Frances, relax and don’t even think about advancing into a new camera yet since you are able to capture ‘crystal magic’ as is!

    Thanks so much for that, Joey. The new camera is off the table for now. I still have to work on the bird photos. It has been too cold for me to sit out much with the tripod and play the waiting game though. I just do a couple of quick shots hand held of the cardinals now and then. We have been having so much frost, I have been having fun with that.

  9. ourfriendben says:

    Brrr Frances! All those frosty photos are making us nervous about our trip to Nashville (it’s already so cold here!). My dear friend Sarah knitted me a pair of fingerless mittens so I could type this winter without my fingers turning to ice. I’d never worn any before, but I’ve been using them with pleasure these last few weeks! Poor bumblebee, why didn’t he head south?

    Hi OFB, we are hoping for a warming trend for the coming holidays. Glad it wasn’t this week, we would have been frozen and not able to go outside! No No NO. We must go out, thirteen in our tiny house is a crowd! Those fingerless gloves are so perfect for the camera and driving too. I didn’t see the bumblebee after that, maybe he just fell down to the earth, it did not warm up much during the day either. Many of us were caught by surprise with that consistent cold.

  10. Amy says:

    You’ve got to love these opportunities to get frost photos, in spite of the cold ๐Ÿ™‚ I realised last time I was out with my camera that I need to get some fingerless gloves so my hands don’t ache so badly in the cold. Love your pictures!

    Hi Amy, thanks, you well know how cold it can be trying to capture the frost photos! Yours are lovely. Those fingerless gloves are perfect for the job. The joints in my hands get stiff even with the gloves on, but at least they aren’t numb!

  11. Crafty Gardener says:

    I love the frosty photos. I have made myself some fingerless gloves/mitts this year and I love them when I’m outside taking photos. Great minds certainly do think alike, don’t they?

    Hi Linda, thanks. You are so talented with that craftiness making your own, I’ll bet they are lovely. Great minds? None here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. skeeter says:

    Love the frosty heart! Actually, I love all the frosty pictures! I tell ya, it looks like you sprinkled every thing with sugar! I am wondering if we will have snow this year. Really cold for us this time of year being about 10-15 below normal. We are almost out of firewood too. This years tree falls were pine and pine in the fireplace dont mix. We have been burning it outside instead. Had a nice fire today and roasted hot dogs! Yum!

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. I was hoping your could get that hot dog after reading your post today. I know about pine and fireplaces too, what a sticky mess. We are not used to this cold this early.

  13. Lythrum says:

    I think my very favorite thing about fall and winter is wearing sweaters and warm fuzzy clothing. I love your pictures, too bad for the bumblebee though. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Hy Lythrum, thanks but we do feel for the little buzzer. Hope we went in his sleep. Bundling up in the fuzzies is like playing dress up, I agree.

  14. I stared and stared, I clicked to enlarge the photo…then, I saw it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The frost on petals is beautifully portrayed in your photos.

    Cuddleduds are the answer? I know the brand, but have used Thermasilks. I’ll give your suggestion some thought. I was trying on a hat at REI today and my husband called it an “Elmer Fudd” hat, so I didn’t get it!


    Hi Cameron, thanks so much for making the effort to see it, I wanted everyone to be able to see the magic. I have tried the thermasilks too, but the only department store in our little town carries the cuddleduds. Although just checking, the supplies are quite low at the moment. Probably can be found online, since everything in the world can be found there! ๐Ÿ™‚ My get ups are not very attractive to go out in the garden, Elmer Fudd, huh? Is that a step above Bugs in drag? HA

  15. Gail says:

    Frances, Outstanding frosty photos of the last of fall! Love, love, love the fairy heart present! You deserve it my dear friend! Keep warm. Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. Wasn’t that a wonderful surprise? I am thankful for the macro plus cropping features on the camera and computer! I think it may be warmer when my family will be here, hooray! Wish you could come and join in the fun.

  16. RobinL says:

    Oh I see,Cuddleduds are not just long thermal underwear! I’ve seen them, and thought they would probably make me too warm. So perhaps I need to give them another try. I know the frost is pretty, but doesn’t it make you sad to know what it does to your flowers?

    Hi Robin, thanks for visiting. The silky brands do not make me too warm. Cuddleduds are not the only ones, but they did have a tag that said they could help with the wild swings in body temps, that sold me. All the frost we have been having has been mean to the blooms, I am hoping we get some warmer temps that might spur more flowering later on.

  17. It took me a minute to see the perfect little heart, Frances – was looking for a red one instead of a crystal one…duh.
    Layers. Oh, yes. Not too many needed here in Austin yet – and no frost predicted for a few days, but we’ve also pushed those zone edges with plants suited for #9 instead of #8 and worry we’ll have to pay up one cold day.

    The fingerless hand covers are ingenious!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Hi Annie, most talented of singer songwriters around! So glad you were able to discern the frosty heart, thanks for making the extra effort. Our weather does go up and down, I am hoping for an uptick for the holiday coming up with all the family coming too. I want them to play in the garden!

  18. chuck b. says:

    Who can’t enjoy a frozen little heart.

    Do they make cuddleduds for dudes? That would be awesome.

    Hi Chuck, they could call them cuddledudes! Perfect. I don’t know that dudes have the wild hot cold swings that we ladies do though. ๐Ÿ™‚ So happy that you could see the heart too. Your pumpkin pecan pie sounds delicious, hope the group loves it. Major cleaning and cooking here this week. So fun!

  19. nancybond says:

    Brrr! Poor little Bumble seems confused. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The little heart looks like a crystal ornament.

    Hi Nancy, thanks for stopping by and so glad about the good news at your place. Poor little bumble indeed. I was amazed when I saw the heart, and so happy too. Glad you could see it.

  20. eliz says:

    It is a much chillier fall than usual here too, Frances. But your frost-tipped flowers are way more beautiful than anything I’ve seen here.

    Hi Elizabeth, thanks so much. Those flowers are few and far between, but the frost dresses up the garden for a winter gala! We are ready for a warm up here, enough of these way below normal temps.

  21. Good Morning Frances, I’m so glad that the wheather is back to normal! We have also had very very mild winters and of course I like warm weather but I want it to be normal. Beautiful frosty photos, those frost crystals are amazing, they are like a small piece of art every single one

    Hi Tyra, thanks. Every crystal is a work of art, isn’t it? One good thing about the colder winter may be fewer insects biting us next summer! Your blue hour showing the lit greenhouse is the most fabulous photo ever!

  22. Shirl says:

    Hi again Frances ๐Ÿ™‚

    What beautiful images from your garden! You are mastering your camera – you’ve inspired me to refer to my books and manual now too ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hands up… I had to enlarge the photo too – but I did see it! You must have been especially thrilled with that capture and the bee of course too. Yes, I now get the title too. A*** for this posting – definitely ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hi Shirl, so nice to see you. Thanks for that about the camera, coming from such a photo whiz as yourself, high praise! I don’t see how your photos can get any better, and you haven’t read the books!!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to look for the heart. It and the bee were a surprise when I loaded the photos. High marks for the title understanding also for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Randy says:

    Frances how wonderful! I loooooooooooove frost photos! What a good eye you have to see the heart!

    Hi Randy, thanks so much. I am thrilled that you could see the heart too. The frost is pretty but hard on the few blooms we had left. They are all mush now. I don’t know if there will be more when we get a little respite from the cold, hope so!

  24. gittan says:

    Beautiful frosty photos from your garden today. I can see that our weather is about the same. It’s a bit freezing day and night and right now it began to snow here. Large snowflakes and a lot of them =( That means that I’ll stay inside as much as I can – I’m cold!

    Hi Gittan, thanks so much. This is way colder than we should be for this time of year. It is supposed to warm up a bit for our Thanksgiving day, November 27. My family all comes here and I want us to be able to play outdoors! Do try and stay warm yourself!

  25. Marnie says:

    Your flowers are so lovely with the diamond-dusting of frost. I wish it was light enough here to get a few photos this morning. We had about 1/2 inch of snow.

    Hi Marnie, thanks, it is pretty but wilts the flowers when the sun hits them sadly. I have to wait for the sun and sometimes it never shows up! Sorry about your snow, it is too early for that IMO.

  26. Joy says:

    Hi Frances .. what beautiful pictures of your plants with frosty ice crystals on them !
    I’m missing what the fairies left you with the last picture .. I have been staring and staring .. it is that kind of a day ; (

    Hi Joy, thanks, I do hope your day improves. I had to send you the photo with a circle around it, maybe it would give you a boost.

  27. commonweeder says:

    It took me a minute, but I finally got it. Thanks for the hint. Beautiful photos as always. I’m always glad to meet another cuddleduds fan. Our temperatures have been hovring around 12 degrees. I think the worm farm I started this summer and moved to the basement last month is barely surviving the 50 degree temperatures there. Wish them luck.

    Hi Pat, thanks and oh good. I was afraid it needed some pen annotation but didn’t want to spoil it. And good deal on the cuddleduds. I am sure there are other brands that can do the job, but I do love mine. Oh your poor worms! I tried some in my garage one year but it got too cold in there. I think we need more cold blooded worms!

  28. skeeter says:

    Signing out for a bit but just wanted to stop by here and wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hi Skeeter, how sweet of you, thanks so much. Same to you and yours.

  29. Kathleen says:

    Fabulous photos Frances. I think I need to brave the elements more as I don’t have frosty photos like these. Much too much of a “weeny” to go out in the cold! Funny your winters have been milder than normal, ours have been colder and snowier than normal. I wonder what this year will bring?

    Hi Kathleen thanks, high praise coming from one who takes such amazing photos! The last few years have had mild winters here and we thought the global warming, or El Nino, etc was going to keep us warmer. Last week was record breaking cold here for so early in the season. Brrr. Our weatherman said the long term forcast was for a more normal, read cold, winter this time around. I love going out in the mornings, cold or not, but won’t go out in the rain, the camera might get wet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Breath taking! I just love a cold crisp morning. Especially when I can stay indoors by the fire with my tea and just look at your stunning photos instead of venturing out and trying to get my own. Thanks, I’ll have two cups one for me and one for you! Kim

    Hi Kim, thanks! I really appreciate a warm beverage on a cold morning too! I love to go out at first light in any weather except rain. We have had several hard frosts and there are some fun shots in the files. Nature makes some of her best art with frost. Please don’t get up, I’ll let myself out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Phillip says:

    Frances, I don’t think you need a new camera. These are wonderful. Do you really think we are in for a “normal” winter? It is looking that way here.

    Hi Phillip, thanks, I am not getting a new camera, more money to spend on plants! Our weatherman gave a long spiel about how our winter would be *normal* this year, meaning back to cold, and more snow even. Boo. I liked those warmer winters better, but not the bugs they brought in summer. We could use more rain while they’re at it too. Your roses are to die for!

  32. Jean says:

    What beautiful pictures of the frost (and what the fairies left you). I’ve been wondering about this winter too, although it hasn’t been that bad for us yet. I guess I shouldn’t complain since I just now ripped out the frozen Sun Gold tomato plant! But it is time for the garden and gardener to rest. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hi Jean, thanks. The fairies may have been leaving me a gentle reminder that they have been neglected of late! ๐Ÿ™‚ We had really gotten used to fairly warm weather until after Christmas. This has been a rude reminder of what our *normal* actually is. Rest sounds good, but I get antsy inside and need to do some divided or moving just for the fun of it in the garden. I’m an outdoor girl.

  33. Chloe.M says:

    Such magical photographs of the changing seasons. And love the ‘fashion forward’ fingerless gloves – what a fantastic idea!

    chloe M.

    Hi Chloe, thanks, glad you liked it. I am so relieved that there were goat survivors from the horrific fires of your family’s place. You and they have been in our thoughts.

  34. Krys says:

    Those photos are absolutely gorgeous! The clarity and focus of the last one is incredible.


    Hi Krys, thanks and welcome. We have been actually READING the owner’s manual on the camera, what a unique idea to learn about making the camera work better for us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. layanee says:

    A heart as cold as ice! Love it! I hear you with the ‘on with the sweater, off with the sweater’. If naked were beautiful at this age, that is what I would be! LOL

    Hi Layanee, thanks, that’s a great line, sounds like it would make a good song lyric. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a closet full of cardigans and zippered hoodies so they can be taken off and on hundreds of times a day. What a nuisance. Naked might cool you down, it might not!

  36. I see you have been working that macro focus Frances. A heart shaped ice cyrstal is pretty impressive. And I am glad to see that the cold has finally made it down the mountain.

    Hi Christopher, yes I am getting within that quarter of an inch of the subject, a whole new way of picture taking for me. I am also getting to understand the little whirrs and whistles that the camera makes when it is getting ready to take a good photo and not do the click if I don’t hear it. Yes, we got that frigid weather also, but no snow for us. Lots of frost on the plant life though and many many photos of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Cinj says:

    How heart warming is that? “Little” details can bring us so much joy, can’t they?

    Hi Cinj, thanks, I was thrilled to see that little heart when the cropped shot was enlarged. So glad you could see it too. Joyful is the word. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Rose says:

    Where to begin, Frances??…I’m glad you decided against a new camera–these photos are so beautiful I can’t imagine how you could improve on them. I thought the maple leaf frozen on the heathers was spectacular until I saw the ice heart on the coneflower. Besides admiring your photography, you have made me a believer in fairies:)

    Thanks, too, for the fashion tips; I think I should invest in some Cuddleduds.

    Hi Rose, thanks, me too. Think of all the plants that can be bought with the money saved not buying a new camera. Only the fairies could have sculpted such a treasure, right? Cuddleduds do it for me! I live in them in the winter time. Even though it is really still fall. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Anne says:

    I am SO going to check out those cuddleduds!
    and that Echinacea closeup is awesomely gorgeous… stay cozy!)

    Hi Anne, thanks and you too! Our weather is supposed to get up to sixty for Thursday when I will have a houseful of loved ones, hooray!

  40. Robin says:

    It’s funny that you should mention my seed starting. I was just telling hubby today that our favorite seed catalog had arrived, and we would sit down and pick out just the right tomato seeds, et al. Yes, we will certainly do this again, but much earlier this time. Our green pepper plants barely moved! And we won’t bother starting cucumber seeds indoors, the plants we started indoors were the same as the ones we direct seeded into the garden!

    Hi Robin, so nice to see you. How fun to decide on the tomatoes for next year, so many choices! I think an early start will give us larger plants to put outside when the time comes and I am doing mine earlier too. Cukes and squash are better off in the ground when it warms up, I agree. Did the same thing and the indoor ones were not even as healthy as the direct sown. Have a happy holiday!

  41. Sapa says:

    I love your pics so much. Many thanks

    Many thanks to you, Sapa, for visiting. Welcome!

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