In late November, the first snow shower of the season coincided with the dismissal of my son's elementary school. As the students streamed out of the school doors, their eyes widened as the falling flurries greeted them. Squeals of "it's snowing!" or just "Snow!" gathered in volume, as those kids who weren't wearing broad smiles had their tongues wagging, trying to catch the elusive flakes.
They wouldn't have had any problem catching flakes over the past 24 hours, as falling and blowing snow has been perpetually aloft since last evening. But as I took a look around the yard, soon realized that plants are a great deal better equipped to catch snowflakes than a bunch of screaming elementary students.
The spikes of Echinacea purpurea seed heads poke out of lollipop snowballs.
The feathery plumes of Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' arch icily under even the lightest weight.
The reddish tinge of Sedum glows through a frosty lid of snow.
Wind drives snow between two intertwined, ruddy trunks of Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud).
The "hand" of a dried Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon) holds a miniature snowball.
The shaggy, peeling trunk of an ornamental crabapple (Malus sp.) holds wedges of snow.
The horizontal branches of Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' (Colorado Blue Spruce) brace shelves of accumulating snow.
As I witnessed the unique way each plant collected snow, I wondered aloud if they were as excited as those elementary kids as the first flakes began to fall.