Is it just me, or do the leaves of the Sweet Gum tree (above) look like stars? I snapped this photo at Longwood Gardens, the day after Thanksgiving. It was the start of their grand Christmas show but the day was mild, the sky was blue and the trees -- well, the trees were putting on their OWN show without any need for garlands or tinsel. I know that usually when we hear 'Winter Wonderland" we expect white frosting on evergreen trees and icicles twinkling off the branches of deciduous ones.
But I found that the shapes of the trees that day were wonderland enough -- no need for snow! It wasn't just the Sweet Gums pictured above; the Carolina Silverbells looked like strands of golden bells (below). I'm not sure who named them. I think, actually, the silver bell name refers to the way the flowers look. But I thought their winter shape and color looked like bells as well.
I have visited Longwood Gardens at least 30 times. I have never noticed two trees on the walk to the Italian Garden called "Trifoliate Orange." But once the chill and winds of autumn have stripped off most of the leaves the oranges themselves (not so sweet you'd want to eat them, but birds will snack on them) look like Christmas ornaments (below).
Ruthie photographs trees because she loves them.