DECEMBER, NOT IN THE PINK, BUT IN THE RED! I am still hunting for red and green colors out on my hikes. This picture was taken earlier in the season when the green leaves of Winterberry were still clinging among its red fruit. Now, the leaves are gone and the berries seem to shout for recognition. If you want to transplant these shrubs to provide vivid color at this time of year, be aware that this is a Holly derivative and all hollies are unisexual. What you see is the female plant, but the male and its pollen producing flowers needs to be nearby. I remember transplanting a young holly from my original home down in Maryland where we had a large tree in our backyard. Unfortunately, the transplanted plant turned out to be a male and no red berries were produced. I tried again, with another plant, and the two of them work together to make a beautiful display of berries. Not only birds eat this fruit, but also I've observed Red Squirrels dining on them. Deer eat the foliage in other seasons, I'm told.
These "red stars" are providing color in my flower gardens. Believe it or not, they are a Geranium technically. It flowers mostly in late spring, but provides pink/purple color most of the summer. Then in fall, it triumphs with this red foliage. I love it because it seeds itself and pops up in unexpected places, like in the middle of your lawn! I often am forced to mow around it until I get a chance to transplant it.
Not all plants produce a red color. Our Red Squirrels, that abound in our woods, also make a colorful statement. They are very busy these days finding and storing food, though they are active most all winter. My final color entry came after our first snow fall. The reds really stood out against the blue sky and white snow clinging to everything. I hiked through the campground absorbing the beauty that a fresh snow cover gives. It is almost magical, though the tide always clears away the snow on the beaches. There is no denying the pull of the moon! See one of the first snow pictures on the home page, accented by the red fruit of Staghorn Sumac, taken on my walk, December 6, 2009. Ronnie, with a flush of red.