A ray of morning sun hit the rockspray cotoneaster causing me to pause, grab the camera and head outside. It is a challenge to find interesting bits and pieces in a garden which has gone to sleep. We are fast approaching the shortest day of the year. There is a bit of fresh green on the hellebores and the buff of the grasses add interest to the minimalism of the garden. Most of the year the rockspray cotoneaster, Cotoneaster horizontalis, is overlooked in favor of the flowering shrubs and perennials but this shrub has backbone. The branching structure does look very similar to a boned fish. Rockspray cotoneaster has very small flowers which do attract bees (Note to self: make sure to get a picture of the flowers next year) but the subsequent berries which are quite prominent now, are red and borne in abundance. I did witness birds taking cover in the tight branching of this low growing, compact shrub. This is a very hardy shrub, hardy to Zone 4. It is said to be prone to insect infestations but I have not had an issue with it probably due to its open location in the rock border. Most of the year this plant goes unnoticed. This time of year, it is much appreciated.