Nature in Winter

by Donald Culross Peattie

Nature in winter is like a great toy shop at night.

The doors are locked, and only at the mysterious depths of the shop does some cold light burn.

If we press our noses on the pane, we can just make out the forms of bigger objects.

All the tenderer delights have been taken from the window —  flower and moth and bird. What is there left for us to play with?

Winter is a study in halftones, and one must have an eye for them or go lonely.

Trees, skies,  and even the black, white and gray and rufous ("roo-fiss") colors of winter birds and little mammals are all subdued, modest, economical of a lofty beauty.  

Now one may make friends with owls and mice, with the different colored stems of willows and corner ("core-nul") and sassafras and spicebush,  with winter buds in their furry scales,  with the berries that the birds seek out,  with the bark of trees and the prints of the four-footed.

As featured on
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Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
Nature in Winter

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