Our trip to MN started out with a 24 hour flight delay, which meant we arrived only a few hours before the Christmas Eve celebration (something like 2 dozen different desserts, mostly cookies handmade by mom, several side dishes including that wonderful Byerly's fruit dip, and many main courses like buttery beef tenderloin, ham, chicken, richly decadent seafood crepes....).
With my wife's lingering illness, her exhaustion from writing 3, 25pp papers and grading something like 40 portfolios, plus the stupid mini blizzard in MN that grounded us in NE, we were a bit unlively, though. Our 2 day visit was a short one, but I'm thankful to have seen my family and grandmother (and thankful for the ipod nano and gps navigator, viva la Christmas). Now we have a week to clean house / rest up before we veg to the max in Mexico.
We did get a nice 2" snowfall that began Christmas morning as we opened gifts, which then lasted into the afternoon. This was the first time I truly realized how the northern landscape is so robust with evergreens--the 6-10" of snow helped highlight them, but they were all so gorgeous, lush, green (in NE it's brown cedars galore), and lent the entire trip with a feeling of being in a truly north country Christmas, which I suppose I was in since my folks now live in the boonies. So, pics of my parent's landscape ensue, with some questions for you other gardeners, and only one shot of a live human being and her new friend.
I enjoyed the late afternoon sun after the Christmas snow, which cast a shadow perpendicular to the fence. It looked better in person.
And below is a nice ensemble of three plants in my mom's garden, followed by a green shrub I'd love to know the name of.
Sasha and my wife.
And below, when we got back to NE, all was covered in round 2 of frog. It was gorgeous to see as our plane sliced through low cloud cover and fog while landing.