Well, all the visitors have gone, and the sun is out once again (for a little while, at least). The sunlight brings out the bright colors that normally go almost unnoticed in the dreary and dim daylight of a northwest winter. Mosses and lichens and ferns are covering everything: lovely, soft, bright green pillows of moss cover a curving river rock wall, the sidewalk, the stairs, the trunks of the huge old trees that line the streets. Ferns are growing in the crooks of tree limbs above the sidewalks. It's like a little rainforest microclimate.
Speaking of trees, the tree trimmers are here as I'm writing this. Our huge old and beloved walnut tree is getting a pretty drastic, much needed shaping. A few weeks ago I noticed two huge limbs were split through...the next ice storm would almost surely cause them to come down on the porch roof or an unsuspecting pedestrian. I'm hoping the family of squirrels that lives in the tree aren't too freaked out. I know I would be if some crazy human attacked my nest with a chain saw.
Walking out on the porch to talk to the tree guy, I thought that the soft white stuff coming down was sawdust...then I realized that nobody was cutting anything. It's snowing!