The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon

Magnolia buds

Buds on a star magnolia offer promises of brighter, warmer days ahead.


By Michael Leach

Winter brings special magic to the garden. Visions of snowy branches, frosty twigs and bluish moon shadows on clear frigid nights come to mind. But sunshine is part of the potion.

Sea oats

Seeds of northern sea oats glow in morning light.


In this part of the Midwest, winter sunlight can be a rare and fleeting phenomenon. Weeks of gray skies are not unusual. So there is delight when the sun makes an appearance. When those welcome rays appear in early morning and late afternoon,  the garden glows softly with the burnishing effects from the sun low on the horizon.

ornamental grass

Plumes of ornamental grasses stand out against the somber backdrop of evergreens.

The poem on a garden plaque I keep meaning to buy starts, “The kiss of the sun for pardon … .” That kiss in winter, no matter how brief and infrequent,  warms my heart regardless of the temperature.



Sycamore branches are tinted with the first rays of a February day.

In recent weeks I collected images of this warming touch. Perhaps they will inspire you to go forth in the remaining days of winter to look for special effects and golden vignettes before becoming overwhelmed with all the work that lies ahead.

Prairie dock leaf

The withered giant leaf of a prairie dock wears the gilt of sunshine on a winter morn.



Love ’em or hate ’em, yuccas seem magical at dawn on a clear winter day.


A walk in the woods in late afternoon brings enchantment and the voice of the woodland.



One response to “The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon

  1. dianajlockwood

    Thank you for sharing this, Michael! Especially like your pic of the sun on the sea oats.

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