Last year's snow was really great. Deep and long lasting, the snow fell again and again and I treasured the charm of a white Christmas season.

By comparison 2009 has brought us a remarkably warm Christmas season. Just this afternoon, though, it began to snow. Large white flakes are dancing on a light wind and accumulating in the backyard.

Will it look like this again? I doubt it. Still softly falling snowflakes are almost always laced with at least a little winter magic. Looking out the back window I can't help but smile at the beauty of the season.

Pomegranate Portrait

This pomegranate stands brightly against the bronze stones and gray river rock in my back yard. The leaves are dry and spent, the stones dusty. The sky is gray and the light is growing cold.

The contrast is profound, all the more so for the simplicity of the details. Against the earthy backdrop this plump pomegranate sits, full of creative possibilities, a crimson jewel box promising a hundred gems of juicy flavor to brighten our table.