Frosty Fingers Tickle the Fronds

Amazing things happen when you look through the lens of a camera. It’s an interesting metaphor for life.

We can view a glass as half empty or half full or we can focus on the small etches in the glass, marvel at the glass’ ability to hold water and consider its resilience.  That glass stands up to multiple washings and use, and perhaps a tumble or two.

Seven days of hard frost laid waste the less-hardy plants in our garden.  This kind of cold snap is unheard of in San Jose, a semi-arid climate known for moderate temps.  It was disheartening seeing all that damage, but a reminder too, that loss is part of life.  So too, is resilience.

I donned my warm coat, slung the camera over my shoulder and took pictures of nature’s etching.  While the ferns took a hit, the plants survived.  Frosty fingers tickled the fronds, but the roots stayed warm and strong.

fern frost damage

Frost damaged ferns

All three geraniums seemed to collapse from the frost, but beneath the wilt, I see life.  I’ve gardened long enough to know that nature serves up some amazing things.  I’ll wait for spring before a true assessment is in order.

geranium flower frost damage

Geranium droop

frost damage geranium

Geranium leaves

Meanwhile, since frost is as much a part of nature as wind, rain, snow and sun, I’m choosing to embrace the beauty in all of it.

frozen fern

Frozen beauty

Organized at Heart

I’m posting a series of articles featuring organizing around the holidays this month on my blog Organized at Heart.  If the subject interests you, please go take a peak. Today’s blog offers tips for Organizing Christmas Morning.

21 thoughts on “Frosty Fingers Tickle the Fronds

  1. It is amazing what can come back after a frost Alys – and it can look very beautiful too! When I lived further north the winter often had severe frosts that turned the entire countryside into a crisp white sheet. White breathed mornings with frigid blue skies that slowly warmed up as midday approached – it was stunningly beautiful to be in! Just don’t brake too quickly on corners 🙂

    My weather news is that despite living just a brisk walk away from Antarctica we have high humidity and have had a thunderstorm I think every day this week. It’s now 3.30 pm and the sky is bluing up again – but at 2.30 it suddenly became dark enough to have to turn the lights on and we had monsoon deluge that washed through the street – accompanied by quite ferocious rolls of thunder! Very exciting for me, not so much for poor Orlando who had very big eyes and kept them on me throughout it!


    • Wow, that does sound exciting. I love weather…getting so little variety of it here. Thunderstorms are amazing…but not if you’re a cat. Did Orlando look at you as if it were your fault?

      We’ve had horrible air quality for the past 11 days. Not a drop of rain in site. Further, we have an uncontained fire south of here and yesterday a metal factory fire, giving off noxious fumes. It was so bad that we got an auto call from the fire department advising all to stay indoors. My son’s school brought all PE classes inside and students were asked to stay in class for lunch hour. Terrible stuff. Oh yes…that thunderstorm would be so welcome here.


      • That sounds awful Alys – life can be so filled with dangers can’t it – and of the most random variety! I can absolutely understand why you would love a thunderstorm!

        Has it settled down now? Is it a common occurrence to have an out of control fire in the middle of Winter? They are generally more inclined to be in Summertime here. [I’m thinking bush fires or gorse fires and don’t even know if that is what you have]

        Orlando wasn’t blaming me for the thunder it was the look he gives me when there is something loud going on in the street outside and he isn’t sure if he needs to run and hide… I usually say something like ‘It’s okay,Little Fella, it’s just…..’ [Like he understands English :-)] and he settles down and waits it out. Quite sweet really 🙂

        I hope you all stay safe and fume-free, sending love xoxo


  2. We’re in Ohio, and under a lot of snow right now. Just looking at our raised garden bed all covered up with snow is depressing. We miss gardening so much. We can’t wait to be able to start all of our seeds indoors again….a few more months to wait.


  3. We have a bush called a Plumbago in our garden, and if the weather freezes (doesn’t happen very often), it completely dies back, I mean everything above soil level is gone. BUT then in spring, up it comes again. So even when you think it’s given up the ghost, it’s there, hidden away, waiting for the right moment to grow again. It’s heartening!


  4. Glasses! We were on the same page!
    And yes … our perspective and outlook on life makes all the difference! Good for you for embracing the beauty of frost, despite the hardship to the garden.


  5. Oh, Alys. It’s so hard to see the frost damage. We had it once in Burbank too. But it’s a cycle and we have to go with it. You are as pragmatic as I about these things. I remember wishing for a break in the heat last summer. Now as I look at this months heating bill, I have a laugh. Clean air is something we take for granted. We at one time lived in a forest area that did prescribed burns just when the air was crisp and clear. It seemed ridiculous and everyone complained. So many of the seniors had trouble breathing because of it. But after a major forest fire someone started, the burns seemed necessary. I love thunderstorms but am terrified of lightning.


    • I could have sworn that I replied to this comment. I must have done it in my head. Does that ever happen to you?

      It’s amazing how we keep messing with nature. The natural forest fires are good for the health of the forest, but now that we’ve moved so close, they don’t let them burn because they risk lives and destroy property.

      I wonder if we’ll ever get back to a balanced earth?

      Lightning can be scary, especially when it sparks fires or splits trees. We have so little of it here, but I do remember electrical storms when I was a girl in Canada.

      Our air quality is finally improving but still not a drop in sight. It feels really strange to be this far into December without rain.


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