Return to a Winter World


Winter World **** by Bernd Heinrich

I’m  reposting this book review from last year for Food for Thought, which I’m thrilled about returning, with our first book selection Friday, Jan. 20th~ The Night Circus!

Next up is Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could ~ a book chocoholics can sink their teeth into & perfect with Valentine’s Day on the horizon! Join us Friday, February 3rd to satisfy your sweet tooth & your reading enjoyment!

The weather outside is frightful . . . while we thankfully have not had as much snow as the Northeast, it’s been colder than normal here in the sunny South. Snowbound, I had the perfect excuse to stay indoors and read a couple of weeks ago. This book provided *interesting reading while I was tucked away, cozy indoors, watching the birds and wondering how nature adapts to the frigid temperatures and winter landscape.

(*interesting reading for those defined as a bit of a Discovery Channel or Animal Planet geek :-)

“From flying hot-blooded squirrels and diminutive kinglets to sleeping black bears and torpid turtles to frozen insects and frogs, the animal kingdom relies on staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, most animals are adapted to an amazing range of conditions. In Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, biologist, illustrator, and award-winning author Bernd Heinrich explores his local woods, where he delights in the seemingly infinite feats of animal inventiveness he discovers there.”

“Because winter drastically affects the most elemental component of all life — water — radical changes in a creature’s physiology and behavior must take place to match the demands of the environment. Some creatures survive by developing antifreeze; others must remain in constant motion to maintain their high body temperatures. Even if animals can avoid freezing to death, they must still manage to find food in a time of scarcity, or store it from a time of plenty.”

“Beautifully illustrated throughout with the author’s delicate drawings and infused by his inexhaustible enchantment with nature, Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival awakens the wonders and mysteries by which nature sustains herself through winter’s harsh, cruel exigencies.”

 I set a Winter World-inspired table with pine cones, lichen covered branches, moss & a few nuts for foraging squirrels. . . on a landscape made of a jute runner layered on a snowy white quilt.

“Perhaps none depends on snow more than the snowshoe hare. The size of this hare’s tracks are out of proportion to the animal’s size. As a result of its low foot-loading, the hare can walk, hop and run very near the top of the fluffiest snow. As a consequence, the more that snow accumulates, throughout the winter, the more easily the hare can reach its food, the fresh twigs of small trees and brush.”

Woodland botanicals, snowy white orbs, and branches fill my lanterns on the table. . .

Rock Salt is sprinkled to mimic an icy coating, rather than to melt the snow on the sidewalk :-)

I was surprised to learn that Crossbills often lay their eggs in winter, so they are able to raise their young when the seeds of spruce or pine cones are most plentiful.

Heinrich is a scientist with a talent for relating his love for nature, his appetite for discovery, and his humorous insights in a fashion that is enjoyable for the reader.

My appetite led me to Pine Cone Cheese for Food for Thought, you can find a recipe here.

Winter can be difficult for birds when the days are short and nights are often cold and long. The natural food supply has been consumed or is hidden by snow.  Water can be hard to find, and food needed to provide the energy to keep birds warm might be scarce.

Food for Thought also led me to make pine cone bird treats for our feathered friends. . . snowy day fun for kids if you have the materials on hand, with a recipe found here.

 Winter World Table details:

Bird Dishes: Gracie China/Home Goods

White Plates: Oneida Westerly Basket

Jute Runner & Napkins: Pottery Barn

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Open House ThursdaysFoodie Friday,

 Home Sweet HomeBe Inspired Friday,

 Feathered Nest FridaySeasonal Sundays

  57 comments for “Return to a Winter World

  1. January 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

    What a gorgeous table inspired by Winter World. I love the white dishes. The pinecone cheese is so pretty, it looks like it came out of a magazine! Thanks for the reminder: I need to feed to birds around here!

    *lovely post*

  2. shirleysms
    January 17, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Magnificant post! Your tablescape is beyond spectacular!

  3. January 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I so remember this table, and review. I said it before and will say it again, you are the bEST at this!!! GORGEOUS as always, Mary! XO, Pinky

  4. January 17, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Your post for Winter World is just fabulous, stunning photography.
    The tablescape is out of this world gorgeous and the pine cone cheese platter just inspired.
    I’m beginning to feel a little apprehensive about taking part in The Night Circus FFT on Friday, I need a little magic dust to sprinkle over my PC.

  5. January 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I LOVE THIS TABLE MARY! And what a great idea to use rock salt as your snow. I’m afraid I haven’t done much table stting… Ive been lucky to get dinner set on it… But, I’m begining to dig myself out (you’d think I was one of those animals) from the holiday, paperwork & laundry. Have a great weeek my friend & I am crossing my fingers I win that amazing giveaway!!! HUGS! Charlene

  6. January 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I’m not sure I commented on this when you posted previously, but I remember it…Love the crispness of the white and green. I covet your lanterns… ;-) Many years ago when I lived in SC, the kids and I used to make the PB and seed cone feeders for the birds….we even had a few squirrels that would perform amazing feats coming down the monofilament we used for hanging the cones…! A beautiful table, Mary…but then, all of yours are! Love the photos of the lake furniture, etc with snow..

  7. Jain
    January 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    So glad we are back at it girl!

  8. January 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Such a beautiful post! So glad you re-posted, I’m not sure how I missed it. The lanterns look so lovely with the pine cones and “snow”. Just perfect for a winter tablescape.

  9. January 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Beautiful table, Mary! I love those little bird dishes and all of your winter touches. The white and green look so pretty with the natural features.

    Those pine cone treats for the birds are adorable.

  10. January 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    The table is wonderful and I especially like the bird bowls. We feed birds here and they are feeding heavily this week.

  11. January 17, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Gorgeous, Mary. Such fun little bird dishes. They are so unusual and work beautifully. Your tables always inspire. ~ Sarah

  12. January 18, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I’m beginning to think that it is a very good thing that I don’t live near a HomeGoods – just in the last few inspiring Home is Where the Boat Is posts I’ve perused I’ve seen so many things that I would love for our home from HomeGoods! My budget and storage limitations would keep my spending in check, but the temptation would be very difficult!

  13. Sonya Abner
    January 18, 2012 at 8:49 am

    So blessed to be able to visit the lake with you….I love the sweetness of your description of the setting….and your kindness to the little critters that inspire………..You are a sweet one……Blessings!

    Sonya Abner
    Auburn, AL

  14. January 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Enjoying this all over again. Came over from TT. XO, Pinky

  15. January 18, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. This is absolutely gorgeous to me. I love it all from the linens right on up. I also finally figured out how to get your posts sent to my email. I had looked before but didn’t see that clickyy little thing at the bottom.

  16. January 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Just love your tablescapes. They are absolutely stunning and this is no exception. Every piece continues the story and is a wonderful accoutrement! A visual treat! xo marlis

  17. January 19, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Hi, Mary. Another lovely table…and the photography! Chickadees at your feeder?! Thanks for your frequent visits to my blog; I need your email so I can connect with you. The bird dishes are gorgeous!

  18. January 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I’m so glad you shared this table setting because I had not seen it. Enjoyed your beautiful pictures of the snow-covered dock and birdhouses from last year’s snowfall. Love those little bird dishes!

  19. January 19, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I well remember this stunning table, Mary! It is absolutely heart warming! I love everything about it! I really appreciate you visiting Take Six. Your comments mean alot to me!

  20. January 19, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Oh, I’m so glad you reposted this! I actually get a shiver as I look at it.

    – The Tablescaper

  21. January 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    This is the best table of the week! Wow! Love that it is inspired by a book. The details are terrific, especially the bird plates that I am so envious of owning. Love it all. Great job! ~CJ

  22. January 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Just an amazing, stunningly beautiful table! You have the gift, my dear! I am always eager to see what you come up with next.

  23. January 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    The book looks lovely as does your table! I loved the pictures you shared!

  24. January 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Gorgeous table, Mary!

  25. Marie
    January 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    For some reason I was not able to add a comment to the post for the Chickadee give-away. If possible, I would love to be entered to win. I admired the dishes when they were at my Home Goods, but resisted. Sorry that I am “challenged” in the practice of leaving comments, I don”t have a blog but enjoy following yours. Thank you, MM

  26. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    January 20, 2012 at 6:14 am

    You left out “and a partridge in a pear tree” from your dessert recipe Mary:@) It looks great and your table has a very old world feel to it. Love the clock plates:@)

  27. January 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Yup! I remember this tabke, and it was one of my all-time favorites! Of course, it’s hard to pick any favorite from your collection of gorgeous posts, Mary, but this truly is one of my favorites! I think the birds perched on the plates is what takes it over the top for me. The whole table just gives hope for Spring in my mind. And who could possibly forget that gorgeous (and delicious, I’m sure!) edible pine cone? :-) Sorry the weather is so weird there this year. It’s weird everywhere, I think! The NW getting hammered with the snow usually reserved for the N and Midwest, while here in the Midwest we have hardly had measurable amounts on the 2 days we did get anything. Weird! Stay warm, and have a good weekend!!!

  28. January 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I’ve put *Winter World* on my wish list. So glad you reposted. Lovely!!!!

  29. January 21, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Wonderful to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  30. Pat
    January 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I love your table scape. The nature elements. Nice post.

  31. January 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I thought of you today as I filled my birdfeeder. We have had such warm weather that I wasn’t as concerned but today the rains came so I put on my slicker and filled all the feeders. The process also took me back to when I was a little girl and my dad and I would go through the New England snows making certain all our feathered friends would be well fed.

  32. January 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    You certainly made this winter world absolutely beautiful! So many wonderful ideas and that book looks like a real treasure!

  33. January 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Sounds like a book i would like for sure. I love your photos and mosaics. The tablescape is just beautiful. What a great idea and treat for the birds. I sure in teh cold weather they will appreciate you feeding them . Have a great week ahead.

  34. January 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Wow I love your tablescape. Beautiful!!

    The Vest

  35. January 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    What a gorgeous winter world post. I love that first mosaic with the clear blues, the yellow/brown grasses and the white snow, all touched by sun and shadow. Just lovely.
    And your tablescape is inspired!

  36. January 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Beautiful photo’s, your captures are just beautiful. So is your winter table, it’s lovely. Have a great week!

  37. January 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Your winter table is glorious!

  38. January 23, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Your table setting is gorgeous. You have the perfect dishes to pull it off. Lovely!

  39. January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Gorgeous table Mary! I love it all, but especially the little bird plates.

  40. January 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Your tablescape is just breathtaking. I love the delicate illustrations in the book, your white plates and the pops of green.

  41. January 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    This tablescape is stunning! It makes me think of winter and spring all at the same time. Thank you for sharing.

  42. January 24, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Stunning table and gorgeous shots!
    Hope to see you on my blog:)


  43. January 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Oh my, this is totally exquisite. I love how you have carried the theme through with such beautiful dishes and accessories. The hare is lovely, the lanterns are fabulous as well as the linens and the Bird dishes are unreal. I havn’t ever seen anything like them. Beautiful. Such a lovely post. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  44. Amy
    January 24, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Absolutely beautiful! I love that you pulled your inspiration from a book (with lovely illustrations)! The lanterns, pinecones, jute table runner- all of it is gorgeous!

  45. February 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I just love your blog and the pictures are so beautiful. The tablescape is amazing! You really inspire me.

  46. February 22, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I have to say that I’ve thought, until this very moment, that I “don’t do blogs”, mistakenly thinking that they were mostly people sharing their opinion about things they probably have only a basic knowledge about. This morning I got a Pinterest (which I only discovered last month when my son told me about it) notice with the lilac’s and hydrangea’s picture included with others…which led me to you. At 54-years old I have become a fan of a blog! This is truly delightful, warm and inviting, reminding me of Victoria at it’s best, but even more warmth flows from your beautiful photographs. Love this! Thank you. You CAN TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS! You have made my day.

  47. Marlene Burkhardt
    February 24, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I read your blog 2 years ago, saw the bird dishes and began my search for them. We’re getting ready for our annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and have been hitting the stores for ideas and purchases. Happen to go to TJMax and what did I find…….the bird dishes. All 10 plates flew home with me and shall use them for the appetizers course. Know our guests will once again be surprised at the table scape that will greet them for this annual tradition. Thank you for sharing your ideas, you are most talented.

  48. Natalie Smith
    March 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Your tablescape is just breathtakenly beautiful! Where can I find those dishes with the birds?!

    • March 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      HomeGoods :)

  49. Bev
    January 30, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Beautiful table…love those bird dishes! Perfect!

  50. January 30, 2014 at 8:58 am

    That looks like a great book to own. I love how you tied in the tablescape with the book. Those white dishes with the birds at the cutest. I love the natural elements of the woods that you combined with your tablescape. The animals and birds are all struggling this winter that’s for certain. Any help we can give them is a good thing!

  51. January 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    A-m-a-z-i-n-g! Just beautiful in every way possible!!!

    I’m not much of a reader because I can’t force myself to sit still long enough & concentrate, but I love the dust jacket on the book! :-)

  52. January 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Oh I could get lost in this dreamy setting. It just beautiful. Live those cute little bird dishes.

  53. January 31, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Oh my goodness…….I loved everything about this post.
    and your table is simply stunning, you thought of everything.
    Thanks for sharing this lovely and fun post.
    Blessings, Nellie

  54. February 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    What a wonderful winter world!

    – The Tablescaper

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