I think I know how this Rhododendron feels. This is its way of protecting itself against the cold. But it looks so sad.
Most of us hunker down a bit for winter. It occurred to me lately that the reason I'm not getting much done is not just that it's dark, but also that I'm cold almost all the time. I'm way too miserly with the heat. So, I feel like the Rhododendron: just let me curl up and wait for spring.
Deer ate most of the Rhododendron's buds the past two years. This year it's fenced higher than in the past. I also left net over the blueberries. So, the deer retaliated by eating the Holly. They do this about once every five years. Don't believe the nursery catalogs that say Holly is deer proof.
We were, perhaps, a bit too smug about how mild the winter's been. We got the whole season's snow yesterday. Not the ten feet they have farther north, but enough to keep me home for the day and to work up a sweat shoveling.