In the heart of winter, art and spring emerge

Here at Pokeberry Pines our woods are sacred to us. We spend time in our little patch of forest observing plants and animals or looking for signs of critters we may not see. We go to the woods to sit and be alone. We go to hold hands and drink an afternoon cocktail. We go to watch the seasons turn. Even so, sometimes we go to our woods in a hurry or on a mission, and we forget to pause and appreciate it.

So, I thought it might be nice to create some art that would remind us to pause and honor our forest whenever we walk through it.

During the past few years we have collected a bunch of old barbed wire that was on the property, left over from its earlier days as a farm. We also collected some old cedar siding from a shed that was on the latest addition to our property. Not wanting those resources to go to waste, I decided to use the boards to create some paintings for our woods. Mr. EndlessSeeker created barbed-wire “frames” for the paintings. We finished them up this week and installed four new pieces of art along our trails.

Now, everyone who visits our woods can see these small reminders to stop and appreciate what’s here. They are bright spots in the gray of winter and fun surprises along the trails.

Even though the calendar tells us we are still in the heart of winter, the warm weather of the past two weeks sure makes it feel like spring has arrived. This false spring may prove disastrous for certain plants and animals that have begun to re-emerge early, as we are surely destined for more frosty and freezing days ahead. But for others, this is the normal time of year to begin again.

Here at Pokeberry Pines, art isn’t the only thing that is showing up in mid-winter. The daffodils are poking through the duff, blooms swelling inside buds ready to burst. The cherry tree, downy serviceberry, buckeyes, and spicebush are all pushing buds to their near-breaking points. The oakleaf hydrangea and elderberries are already leafing out, as is the coral honeysuckle. In the canopy above, the maple trees are bright with red flowers, and sweetgums are starting to show signs of life, too.

As we moved around the homestead this week, readying raised beds for spring peas and lettuce and trimming some of the spent and falling flower stalks from last summer’s pollinator plants, a worm snake and a green snake both slipped across our paths. The bluebirds and house finches are building nests, much to our delight. And today I saw my first giant velvet mite of the season! Winter is here, but spring is coming… and I’m grateful to be able to stop, listen, and take it all in.

Change is the only constant, and things are changing fast here in the middle of winter. As you wander through your local spaces during this mid-winter into spring season, what are you stopping to hear, witness, appreciate and honor?


  1. I love the ever evolving Pokeberry Pines! I see this post related to your previous one on Confluence. Combining your artistic skills with Mr Endlessseeker continues to create the magic at Pokeberry Pines.

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