The Colors of Winter

We often feel like winter is a time where surroundings feel colorless and drab, so I went out on a walk on our trails specifically looking for winter colors. Sure it’s not the flowers of spring, but winter colors are all around – things unseen if they were covered by leaves or are a completely different color at another time of the year. Here are some unexpected color palettes of winter:

Black Raspberry Brambles – In the warmer months the stems of Black Raspberry bushes are covered by leaves, but in the winter their shades of purple can show. We have mounds of them out here, but be careful! They are nature’s barbed wire… 

Multiflora Rose – This invasive bush was originally planted as a natural barrier for farm animals in the late 19th century. It has beautiful white flowers in the spring, but in the winter the vines don’t lose their green color and the thorns are a beautiful rusty red. 

Moss – As a toddler my daughter would seek out moss in the winter, excitedly running from patch to patch exclaiming, “Mawsss!” She’s a teenager now and not nearly as enthusiastic about it as I am, but I love to see those soft patches of green peeking out on rocks and fallen logs.

Red Twig (Osier) Dogwood – Ready for a dad joke? How can you tell if a tree is a dogwood? By its bark of course! Red Twig Dogwood bark is a lovely dark red that really stands out once the leaves have fallen. It is native to the United States and grows pretty much everywhere, except the southern Great Plains and the southeast.  

Prairie Grass – A vast expanse of solid gold set against a clear blue sky. What else can I say? 

Purple, Red, Green, Gold, Blue. Who would have thought winter could be so colorful? If you’re still not convinced it’s worth the trip, I know if you look hard enough you’ll also find some painted rock treasures sure to be bursting with color!

Plan your trip to #JacksonMI today to experience the beautiful colors of winter and enjoy all Jackson, MI has to offer!

Lyndsey Adams, M.S. 

Development Coordinator, Dahlem Nature Center

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