The wet weather and family obligations subsided today, so I went for my first post-Christmas bike ride. It was sunny but with a biting west wind. A few skeins of snow geese were being blown around, and were quite vocal about it. A pair of ravens went shooting over, squawking.
On the way home I cut behind a school to get a break from the wind, and came across a flowering patch of planted Oregon grape. Flowering in mid-late December? I'm accustomed to seeing them laden with honey bees in mid-spring. No point in flowering in the absence of pollinators, plant. Festive, Star of Bethlehemmy, but confused.
Oregon grape. Mahonia sp. A native plant with holly-like leaves, but differs in leaflet arrangement (opposite instead of alternate).
The picture is not as sharp as it could have been because the plant was dancing around in the wind. How windy was it?