Tuesday, February 4, 2014



Bird Snow-angel 
Today since about 8:30 am, there hasn't be a moment when a glance out the window doesn't reveals a scene of white fluff falling.  Each hour the white is thicker and deeper as the snow layers build.  I wasn't thrilled with the weather forecast to see more snow, we've had our share of cold weather (it's not just me even the locals say it's been an unusually cold winter).  But, the snow is beautiful!  You really can't deny that a snow covered landscape is a pretty transformation.  Snow gives the woods bold black and white patterns, softens hard edges, and makes everything quiet and peaceful.  As it snows, the weather isn't that cold, and I enjoy little strolls through the woods and down the hill listening to my boots crunch/thump compacting the snow and leaving windy trails.

Silent falling snow
Highlights gentle twig framework
Beauty grows with peace

This weekend brought a wonderful break from a week of temperatures staying below freezing, and sunny skies. You become much more appreciative of warmer, sunnier days after a few without.  The dogs and I took advantage of the nice weather and neglected chores for longer walks in the woods around the house. The woods near the house are composed of birch, maples, hickories, and oaks.  Every now and then there are huge magnificent oak trees that completely amaze me.  They must be hundreds of years old, older than the united states.  Many have dropped tree sized branches leaving gaping openings that look into the hollow heart of the tree.  How many animals have hidden and slept in the safety of that tree.  Each massive tree is a landmark on my walkabouts.

What stories you tell
You massive gnarly old trunk
I sit and listen

There is also a grove of pine trees in the woods which Jacob estimates were planted 30-50 yrs ago.  They are white pines, and I haven't measured them but I'm guessing they are about 2-3 ft in diameter and reach 75 feet tall.  The grove was planted on a grid which is unnatural but also pleasing to eye.  The pine needles make a silent carpet and the crunching sound of the rest of the woods stop as you walk among the giants.  From the outside it appears black under their shady branches, but as you enter your eyes adjust and the filtered light hits trunks, branches, and the floor.  The pine grove is a good illustration of what author of my college ecology textbook has to say about temperate forest; it is easy to see how myths of elves, nymphs, and other woodland creatures came to exist.

Grid planned long ago
Green needles, black bark, rusty brown floor
Ancient path through pines

turkey track
Today the sun has returned, and the snow shines brightly.  The snow begins to melt dripping from the roof.  It becomes heavier and looses a bit of its fluffy height.  The bird feeder needs to be filled again because the birds gorge to say warm.  Another storm arrives tonight bringing more snow so I better go put on my boots, fill up the feeder, and enjoy the sun.