White on white

With a light dusting of snow, the park and the river looked especially magical this morning. Somehow I can appreciate it all the more, knowing this warmer weather is supposed to last for a stretch. (-4c without any wind is quite bearable).

I’ve never really spent much time thinking about the many nuances of white … I love how the snow-covered branches looked against the snowy ground. (pictured above)

There was so much quiet beauty surrounding me today. When the wind is blowing, as it often does on the prairies, these moments are rare.

I love the willows and the way their seed-ladened branches arch over the frozen river. (pictured here)

Lytton, the big, brown dog (pictured below), romped about in his usual enthusiastic manner. I think he’s trying to perfect his version of a snow angel. This is where he thrives. Today, he was far more interested in following scents than in playing with the few other dogs we encountered.

I have started going for more frequent and longer walks now and am glad to be back at the gym. Inexplicably, my regular gym days ended around last April, right around the time that I began poking about in my dirt patch. Between gardening and blogging, my trips to the gym went by the wayside.

It felt good to be back – important, too, because I need to build up my strength for gardening and fight against the effects of ankylosing spondylitis. The thing with any form of inflammatory arthritis is that it causes fatigue and pain – and who really wants to exercise when a big chair and a hot-water bottle look far more appealing?

It’s finding a balance I can live with. We all have challenges in our lives and learning how to live well despite them is what seems to me the important thing.

Let the beauty of what you love,
be what you do — Rumi —

58 thoughts on “White on white

  1. grannyfiddler says:

    beautiful pix, Kate. i love white on white too…. most of my ‘new’ house is in whites and off-whites…. textures and subtle finishes…. just because, now that the kids are all grown, and it’s just me…. I CAN!!! you’ve reminded me that i’ve not been keeping up with my fitness goals… lost my gym buddy, is my excuse, but not a good one…. i’ll follow your good example and get back at it.

  2. Katarina i Kullavik says:

    I just love the photo of the frozen willow. You can sense the calm of hte frozen landscape.I really should get back to the gym as well – haven’t been for 3 months now. And soon I’ll be digging and mowing… /Katarina

  3. VP says:

    Kate – what great snow pictures you’re finding this week. And lovely to see Lytton again too.Glad you’re back at the gym – will we find time to blog when the weather gets better I wonder? Probably yes, but not so much.

  4. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    Kate, good for you for getting back to the gym. I miss my walks everyday and really should be exercising more too.

  5. gardenpath says:

    Kate, Lytton is black on white! Your garden is pretty under snow! Just remember that spring is just around the corner, and over the hill, and across the bridge….

  6. No Rain says:

    I especially love the first photo! It has a surreal feel to it. I too need to get back to the gym. I used to go twice a week to yoga classes, then worked out with weights. I have a treadmill at home, but it went by the wayside as well. Maybe in a month or two. I also feel a lot better when I do it regularly, so I don’t know why it’s so hard!Aiyana

  7. GardenJoy4Me says:

    Hi KateI love the black on white .. or is it really white on black ? LOL .. In anycase .. they make super photos .. contrast is outstanding and the patterns are lovely to look at ! I have to try and take photos like that too.Joy

  8. Ruth Welter says:

    Hi Kate, beautiful photos of the snow and ice, I love them. Glad you are headed back to the gym, I find excercise really cheers me up, keeps me pupmped up and just plain happy. A great way to weather the rest of winter too.

  9. Cicero Sings says:

    Love the picks … I quite like that first one especially.Good for you to go to the gym! Gyms just don’t appeal to me but I have been getting a good work out x-country skiing! Sorry to hear that you have ankylosing spondylitis … I was just reading about it … doesn’t sound pleasant! Good Courage to you my friend!

  10. San says:

    Beautiful, artful photos, Kate. The top one is pure magic.Your reflections on living well despite challenges are wise. Like finding warmth in winter.

  11. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Kate, I love the first picture of the sticks in the snow. I see a wild eyed person screaming. I wonder why? Must be that cold prairie air.It is good that you and Lytton are out and about on a regular basis. It will make you feel better. I know I always feel better when I do my walk. Hang on there…It will be spring soon…so they say.

  12. teeni says:

    Wow – those are beautiful pictures. I had to look up ankylosing spondylitis. I’m sorry to hear that you suffer from it, Kate. It certainly sounds painful and I can see why a hot water bottle and comfy chair would win out over the gym. But as long as you are able to, it is good to get your exercise and remain mobile so you can enjoy your gardening to the fullest. Spring is coming. I think I heard/saw/smelled it the other day!

  13. kris says:

    Hi Kate – I love the photos. Winter is beautiful to look at – it just lasts too long imo! Our dogs love these milder winter days – they look like little deer running around, bounding through the snow. Isn’t it ironic that moving our bodies helps when we feel we can’t move at all? I get very antsy about exercising indoors – I’d much rather be outside, so it’s hard to keep at it in the winter. I’m working on building up strength too – I figure I’ll need it soon to work in the gardens. 🙂

  14. Pam says:

    That willow – with the frozen seed-branches – is just gorgeous. I’m not sure that I remember those branches covered in seeds. How interesting!I hope the gym is good for you. It reminds me that I need to jump back into the pool. I stopped in the spring, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer – life just got too busy. It still is – but I probably need to go more than ever.

  15. unsigned says:

    I enjoyed reading your gardening related blog. It’s a breath of fresh air. So many blogs are just endless bitching and moaning about people’s personal problems. Your blog has a nice feel to it and the pictures look great. Keep up the good work!

  16. EMBELLISHER says:

    Hello Kate,So wonderful that you can do what you love and find beauty in it and thank-you for sharing it with us. The pictures of white on white are beautiful, it doesn’t work the same way with any other colour somehow.Wishing you improved health and much happiness in the months to come.

  17. Anna--Flowergardengirl says:

    You have the best outlook. I had no idea. I need to get out and exercise just cause I eat too much and love it so much. I guess I figure I’ll be so busy at work in a little bit. Believe it or not–when I start working at the nursery again–I’ll drop 20lbs in about a month. It’s all that physical labor. So, I’m being lazy right now. But best wishes to you and glad you can do so much.

  18. Alyssa says:

    Hi Kate – It’s so nice to hear that you are more a peace. Your prose and pictures both say that. I think exercise is so good for the mind as well as the body. I’m not a physical person, but when I finish a 20 routine on the rebounder, I feel like I’ve done something special and good. It must be an ancestoral memory that we have from ancient times when we were always on the move. And our physical health was so important for survival. It must be very hard for you at times but as you say “finding a balance”. And that’s what life is all about.

  19. Selma says:

    There is such serenity and wisdom in everything you write. I don’t know which image I prefer – the magical Willow or your adorable dog. Finding the balance despite the challenges is so important and so well put. I love coming here!

  20. clairesgarden says:

    love the dog in the snow, he looks like a good soul! its good to get excersising, the more you can do the better you will feel, though I agree sometimes the chair is more tempting!

  21. Frances, says:

    Kate, we do so hope the gym helps you in preparation for the workout of gardening. White is a wonderful color, in the house as well as in the garden, snow or flowers or the silvery shades of leaves such as the artemesias. We are thinking of you.Frances at Faire Garden

  22. Mad Man Bamboo says:

    Kate,Beautiful pictures (especially the fist one). Glad to see your getting ready to work in the garden.Sean

  23. Jane Marie says:

    I love your pictures. Black and white is awsome, but I’m all about color. Can’t wait for the spring garden fashion show to arrive.

  24. Cheryl says:

    Your photograph again is a beautiful form of art, I just love it.I am a dog person, so they always make me smile…tku.I like the challenges life throws at us, we gain strength in other areas, and become better people. Like you, I have my problems, and just take things a day at a time.Lovely post, there is always something quite calming about your posts.

  25. Karine says:

    Your blog, as always, is a delight. My favorite photo is the first one. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as ankylosing spondylitis. It amazes me that you can even GO TO A GYM with something like that gripping you. The rest of us should never ever complain ever, about why we don’t excercise. You are a light in this world.

  26. Sparkling Red says:

    I love new, clean snow. If city snow didn’t turn into a grey-black oily mess in short order, I’d like winter a lot more.Good for you for getting to the gym. Exercise is one of those things: the more we need it, the less we want to do it. 🙂

  27. Kerri says:

    Good for you getting out and exercising! I hope and pray you’ll be feeling fit for spring gardening. Lytton loves his walks, doesn’t he?The whites can most certainly be beautiful. There’s nothing prettier than branches freshly covered with snow.I’ve never thought of growing bougainvillea here but you’ve inspired me to perhaps try it. My mom grew it wonderfully well in Australia and I’ve always loved it, especially since it reminds me of her.

  28. Melanie says:

    Kate, a visit to your blog is like a mini spa treatment. Ahhhhhhh peace.Thanks for the moment 🙂

  29. GardenAuthor says:

    Kate, Your portrayal of winter is striking, both in photos and words. Your resilience, in the face of physical adversity, is admirable and I do hope your efforts now, lead to a healthier you, come spring. Lucy thinks that Lytton is looking “fine and dandy” (her words), as do I. Thanks for your recent visits and comments… Deb

  30. Wurzerl says:

    Dear Kate, wonderful fotos, I like the snow in your pictures but I’ m so glad that in my garden is Spring with lovely flowers!!!Have a great weekend.Wurzerl

  31. ren says:

    i hate snow, absolutely HATE it, but your pictures make it lovely (well…as long as i am not standing in it).

  32. Connie says:

    The snow looks pretty…but I’m glad it’s there and not here! It is beginning to warm up here and today I saw some tulips poking up, so that was a happy siting.Sorry to hear about your arthritis. I have fibromyalgia and if I don’t exercise it always gets worse. It’s kind of a paradox….when you hurt you don’t want to exercise, but if you do it anyway makes you feel better!

  33. Mary says:

    My applause, Kate. Take care of yourself. I know how wonderful it feels to begin an exercise routine. Unfortunately, I begin too often :o)Lytton is having a wonderful time and you’ve captured the beauty of white. Soon, it will disappear into your dirt piles :o)

  34. albertapostcards says:

    kate, good for you for taking time for yourself. Getting outside and being active always makes a person feel better both inside and out. It’s also great for enhanced creativity. Really enjoyed that quote from Rumi — how apt. Your garden bench is really enticing btw.Diane

  35. Cris Bolbosa says:

    Hi KateIt’s always so good to visit your space. All that white is so beatiful, so pure.And it’s funny how the dog likes to play in the snow.I’m very lazy to go to the gym, and no just that, the time is few also. I’m spend my days sitted on a chair working in the computer. By night, there are so many things to do at home that there is no time for anything else. I hope you get better of your desease.kindlycris

  36. Sarah Laurence Blog says:

    Kate, what lovely frost photos! Thanks for sharing winter with us. Here in England all the fruit trees are blooming and the daff’s are up. I’m enjoying it, but somehow I don’t feel like I earned it. There is so much excitement to a northern spring after a long winter. Nothing is more beautiful than a frost.

  37. priya says:

    this is a totally different kind of beauty, an utterly different world, differnt atmosphere, different light and so unique to me – stark, minimal colour and abstract. your photographs took my breath away.and yes, learning how to live well despite challenges has taught me so much – courage has been just one of the lessons.

  38. Rosemarie says:

    That photo of the willows is indeed lovely. Sometimes I think winter photos are more lovely than summer – it’s like you’re seeing your world in a new way.

  39. Green thumb says:

    Beautiful and breathtaking pictures Kate. I wonder how Lytton can snatch scents in this freezing weather, but Labradors have such a knack of doing so.It is so true, what you say in the last; sometimes it is the challenges of life which bring out the best in us.

  40. Andrea's Garden says:

    hi Kate, you are so right – we have to find the right balance. Last year when my health was quite challenging to put it mildly I came to that conclusion myself. It does not always work, but then I try to find something positive and things are all right and my outlook has improved. Of course, the pictures are beautiful. Take good care, Andrea

  41. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    Oh Kate, the photo of the seed laden willow branches almost makes me cry–it is so beautiful. I’m glad going to the gym is a good balance for you. I also go to the gym, and I’ve found it helps. In fact, I did a post about exercise and staying strong for spring. You’re right that everyone has something. Blessings~~Dee

  42. Andrea's Garden says:

    Hi Kate, when you use WordPress you will need a host where you can install it. We have several domains, so it wasn’t a problem. Stella’s blog was very easy because I used straight blogspot there and lost nothing. My Garden Blog lost some postings, but I am not too worried there about it. I didn’t use blogspot to host the templates, so there it was a bit more difficult. You shouldn’t have a problem with a straight Blogspot Blog. Kind regards,Andrea

  43. Simon Kirby says:

    Hi Kate, I really like your photos, particularly the sea holly and the branch against the snow. The patterns and simple and geometric and the palette too is simple. You’ve a good eye.Simon

  44. Annie in Austin says:

    Did I even know that willows had seeds until they appeared on your blog? You make us see things even when they’re white-on-white, Kate. It must be very hard not to go for the hot-water bottle- I hope playing with Lytton helps your arthritis as much as the gym sessions do. Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  45. Kylee says:

    My willows don’t have seeds like that! That’s cool!Kate, boy do I know how you feel about the exercise thing. Thanks so much for being an encouragement to me! Hugs!!

  46. BeachysCapeCodCupboard says:

    That willow photo is breahtaking! So happy you’ll be joining the next challenge! Your beeswax art piece for the last challenge was BEAUTIFUL!!! Can’t wait to see what you create for the next challenge!

  47. Bindi says:

    Hi Kate. Beautiful pics. Nature provides so much beauty doesn’t it.Great that you are fitting in the gym. Nothing like the beginning of spring to inspire activity!

  48. Ki says:

    The patterns of the branches against the snow is quite lovely. Unfortunately I’ve found that dogs with good noses are a pain to take on walks. We had a bull mastiff once who could stand sniffing in one spot for ages while I nearly froze to death. A walk around the block took nearly 1/2 hour.Hope you feel better. Spring will be here soon.

  49. Abby Creek Art says:

    Lytton looks right at home in the snow…what a cutie pie. Maisie is out in the snow with James right now…it was 70 degrees here yesterday and today it’s 29 and snowing! Yikes!

  50. thepowerguides says:

    I must admit I am somewhat of a wimp so only now as it is warming up nearly at freezing after this long cold winter will the dogs and I start taking the exercise I know we desperately needSteve FromThe Power Gardeners Guide

  51. nina says:

    Kate-Those branches arching over the stream are beautiful.I never tire of the white on white–though green on green is also nice!

  52. Clare says:

    Hi Kate! On my computer, some of the photos you refer to in your posts aren’t showing up. I’ll check again later. I also love white on white — so incredibly beautiful. And your post on the arrival of the worms gave me a big smile — welcome wormies!
    🙂

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