Tawes Hall is on the left and the Benjamin Building is on the right in this view of Tawes Plaza during a snow storm on Monday, March 3, 2014. It is not often that we see such a pristine snow without footprints on our campus.
The first snow of the season is often a magical event for many, especially for those that grew up in tropical areas of the world and are experiencing their first winter storm. This frozen water coming down in tiny, unique, beautiful flakes is absolutely amazing! Even for the many of us that have grown up and lived for many years in temperate zones where that snow is common, there is still often something magical about the transformative experience of that first blanket of purest white snow as it settles over the landscape and covers everything in sight. There is something exhilarating about that first snow that is captured well in this video by Vitas Bumac, the famous Russian counter tenor singer. In the video, check out that amazing evergreen coniferous Russian forest that the superhighway cuts through in the distant background.
View of Tawes Plaza on Monday, March 3, 2014 with the Art / Sociology Building in the background and Tawes Hall on the right.
|View of Tawes Plaza on Monday, March 3, 2014 with the Art / Sociology Building in the background and Tawes Hall on the right.|
However, as winter progresses and you are buffeted by storm after unending storm such as in this extreme winter, the magic goes out the window for many of us and the reality of winter hazards sets in. By March, we are weary of dealing with those winter hazards and we are more than ready for spring. The phrase 'ah, glorious winter' becomes a phrase that is viewed with suspicion or sarcasm. Except of course for those few truly hardcore snow bunnies, like my friend Dr. Laura Deeter from The Ohio State University, that post their excitement of impending snow storms and then their disappointment when the snowstorm does not reach the weather forecaster's prediction. There is nothing as exhilarating as being able to teach a Woody Plant Material Lab when there is heavy snow cover on the ground in the invigorating cold of an Ohio winter. While the rest of us might not be quite as excited about deep snow as Dr. Deeter, plant materials selected for their winter beauty do give us a good reason to go outdoors in the winter, as viewing nature at its best, does seem to lift ones spirit.
'Fire Power' Heavenly Bamboo has lost far more leaves this winter than they have in previous winters as the minimum temperatures this winter have been much lower than in the previous winters. Picture taken on March 3, 2014.
'Alta' Columnar Southern Magnolia covered with snow on March 3, 2014.
The brick walls enclosing a space behind the Benjamin Building make a great feature in this winter scene with Knight Hall in the background. Picture taken during a snow storm on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Daffodils and Siberian Squill are starting to emerge through the snow between the bench and the boxwood hedge in this picture of the Benjamin Building courtyard garden taken during a snow storm on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Leatherleaf Mahonia leaves are weighted down with snow in this picture taken on Monday, March 3, 2014 after a snowstorm.
Steam billows up behind the plume like seed heads of 'Pumila' Fountain Grass on Tawes Plaza on Monday, February 10, 2014.
Those tantalizing views of spring shown on warm days between late winter or early spring snowstorms by the early blooms of Witch Hazels, Crocus, Siberian Squill and Snowdrops serve to give us a small taste of the real spring soon to come. For some of us, that is not soon enough! Having to use snow plows to clear the baseball field for practice in March just isn't right. Spring break in less than two weeks will be warmly embraced!
'Lilac Beauty' Tommasini's Crocus is starting to poke its flowers up through the Variegated Liriope groundcover in a planting in the Benjamin Building courtyard garden on February 24, 2014 on a warm day between snow storms.
This unknown cultivar of Witch Hazel located in the northeast corner of the Van Munching Hall courtyard was blooming on a warm afternoon on February 24, 2014. The fragrance of this unknown cultivar is outstanding!