Winter Leftovers

photo of leftover plant

Spring Sparkler

On the last day of winter, we remember what has passed.

It was the tiny spider in the delicate, worn web that inspired this slideshow from 2009.

Each year I leave the plants in my garden standing for the birds, insects and other residents of my graden to use for winter accommodations. This spring, as I began preparing the site section by section I happened to see this spider and her delicate web outlined in the spring sunshine. She had died but continued to cling there all winter long, and her web held up against any number of storms.

Her eggs would be laid on the stem adjacent to her web, and when they hatched, the little spiders could use her web as a launching pad. I found it so moving that on that bright early March afternoon I went through my garden looking for other such images.

All the other native plants had left behind their skeletons, and the effect of these was haunting, like finding a ghost town or an unknown world.

I had to let them say their last goodbye.

The sepia tones are the natural coloring of the plants in the stark spring sunlight, that interim color palette between the blues of winter and the greens of spring.

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