Winter in Colorado may seem dull and lack luster of any color. The days are short and we long for the first signs of spring. But winter has its own charm and if you look close enough you might be surprised what you see. Grab a camera and take a stroll along the river side or greenbelt or foothills and see the beauty of winter.
Many ornamental perennial grasses wave in the wind like wheat. Catch the early morning sun or as the sun is setting and you can capture the best light for grasses. Photographers would call that the Golden Hour. Any snow that is around only enhances the shot. A quick modification on a photo editor and you have an amazing shot.
Native plants also have beauty as they sleep in winter. Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) is stunning in the fall with its bright amber flowers. As the freeze settles in, the flowers fade into golden stars which you will find around town in the more rural areas or in the foothills. A close up of the spent flowers makes for an interesting composition.
Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) – the crimson stems pop their color when all else is brown and grey. Consider cutting some branches which make an excellent accent to any winter porch pot of holiday greenery.
So many other things have great winter interest such as shrub roses and the lingering rose hips. Or Chokeberries (Aronia melancarpa) with their lingering fruits.
The Bluebeard Blue Mist Spirea (Caryopteris x clandonensis) has a delicate dried seed pod of this amazing purple summer flower which will attract bees like crazy.
Another native plant found especially in the foothills is Mountain Mahogany (Cerocarpus montanus). A great xeric shrub with solid green leaves in the summer. Followed by its especially most interesting characteristic, which are the fuzzy, swirly-curly seed heads. If you didn’t pause to look closely you might miss it!
With the leaves off the deciduous trees, the winter landscape offers interesting and inviting silhouettes, lines and shadows. Especially early in the the morning as the sun is rising or in the evening as the sun is setting. Use you imagination and sense what is happening in the landscape. What are the birds and wildlife doing at the time? How is the day or night unfolding? Wallow a bit in the splendor of what Mother Nature has to offer.