From a distance, there seemed to be nothing very colorful among the pondside shrubs, but a closer look revealed that the Winterberry bushes still retained their glossy fruits, although they were more a wine-red now than the brilliant scarlet they had displayed in autumn.
The chubby round buds of young Red Maples also added a rosy hue to the branches hanging over the pond's frozen waters.
There were Highbush Blueberry shrubs as well, with twigs as ruby-red as their small shiny buds.
The spindle-shaped buds of American Beech gleamed with a coppery glow when lit by the low winter sun.
A couple of dried birch fruits had been caught among the twigs of a pondside shrub, looking like smallish pinecones.
The birch fruits shattered at my touch, filling my hand with little winged seeds and miniature fleurs-de-lis.
As a lowering sun cast long shadows through the woods, the sunbeams turned the leaves of young American Beech trees to glowing amber.
The most colorful surprise of all on this mid-winter day were the vividly hot-pink twigs of Striped Maple, their spectacular color set off against a background of emerald-green White Pine saplings.