Next to my home is this wonderful old Japanese maple. It signals the changing of the seasons like clockwork and showers me in autumn with a red blanket of discarded foliage. In spring filtered light bathes the room with a soft green hue as leaves emerge. The sense of continuity and comfort is the key to it's significance. After twenty years plus in the one home you see a pattern in the neighbourhood which is repeated every season. You also know when to feed the magpies on your footpath so they don't swoop the dogs (or yourself!).
This image was taken this morning after another night of minus five degrees. The garden was cloaked with a dusting of white crystals which vanished as soon as the sun's rays hit them. My Japanese maple stood like a quiet sentinel outside my home and I shot this frame as I looked up at a cool blue sky. It almost appeared that the branches were mapping out the formation of crystals themselves. If you look closely at the image you can see the first buds forming. It looks like I'll have a completely different photo opportunity shortly.