Enough of ice and snow and brittle gray weather!
In the dead of winter at the end of December and just before the New Year we took a walk along the shoreline in a nearby park. Weather was about 50 F which made for a pleasant afternoon. (That weather is now a very distant memory since temps rarely break 34 F.) The ground was spongy from the recently melted snow and the grasses that were peaking from beneath scattered patches of snow were still deep green. Most of the rest of the area was brown and drab. Bordering the path were many leafless thorny shrubs, hanging in until spring.
As the path followed the shoreline of the river, I came across this coral berry shrub, Symphoricarpos orbiculatus. These stunning pink berries may be toxic as they were not being eaten by any birds, but then again, perhaps they were not yet 'ripe'. While this shrub is indigenous to this area, I think it was an ornamental escapee from the manor house that was now a wedding house at the top of the bluff above the river. The tiny white flowers of this shrub are not distinctive, but it certainly makes a lovely winter highlight when it produces these berries. If you click on the photo you will see that it looks as though they are tiny pomegranates...for the fairies' winter ball I guess. The trio symmetry in growth of seed is also interesting.
I put a few seeds in the pocket of my coat...just to see if I can reproduce the beauty in my yard although it may take a few years. I am an optimist.