Tag Archives: snow

EARTH SLUMBER

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I climbed the steep gully,
A cathedral of blue
Winter sky above me,
The sound of the hidden
Stream rilling and gurgling in my ears.

My footsteps criss-crossed
The busy pathways
Of mink and weasel—
Soft divets scooped
Where they belly slid
Down the banks,
Tracks suddenly disappearing
Into a perfect O of snow.

I paused to catch my breath
And listen to the sparse oak leaves,
Rattling ineffectually
At the wonderful clear silence.
How gratifying to be
In such a pure and simple landscape.

I could feel the earth slumbering
Under her coverlet of snow,
And see her graceful, full curved hip
Thrown carelessly across the valley.
Her languid, dimpled arm
Draped over the ridge,
Head resting, forehead kissing
The bank of the stream
As though peering through
Marbled ice at the
Rivulet of bubbles
Slipping along below.
And there before me
Her wide smooth rump
Thrust skyward
For a flock of glossy black crows
To perch upon.

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WINTER SOUNDS II

IMG_0968Rooster            blue jay            crow                        wind chime
Rooster            blue jay            wind chime                        cat
Rooster            cat            airplane
Rooster            blue jay            cat            barred owl
Barred owl
Barred owl
Crow
Barred owl            crow            chickadee

            Leaf rustle            cat

Rooster
Wind chime
Crow            wind chime

            Chickadee chickadee chickadee

Snow

SIGNS OF SPRING

IMG_8134A sure sign of spring—the kids are going crazy. Notes home from the teacher about rambunctious behavior. And no wonder, they haven’t had an outdoor recess in months!

To combat the stir crazies, I took my little fella out to tramp through the woods over the snowpack, joining the dots of deer and fox tracks. He scrambled over, and jumped off downed tree-trunks to his little heart’s content. I noticed the ever-increasing rings of melted snow at the base of trees. Squirrels chased each other round and round the trunk of the giant black walnut. A flash of ginger fur at the corner of my eye was a chipmunk scampering down the old stone wall. The red cardinal perched amongst the brown, yet swelling buds of the forsythia bush, laying claim to his territory. His no less stylish, yet more subdued partner was close by. The Carolina wren scolded from the dogwood. And the darling nuthatches, cheeped softly to each other as they, scampered, headfirst down the trunk.

The other evening as I stood on the lawn watching a silvery sunset, a pair of Canada geese honked from the pond. Not two feet from me a half-awake possum snuffled here and there amongst dried grasses poking out of the snow. He reminded me of a drunk old fella on his way home from the pub.

When I got up this morning the air was ripe with skunk love. An ardent suitor had left his calling card in the night. Perhaps it was the same stylish black and white mop top I’d had to brake for coming home the other night. He was oblivious to my presence, so hot was he on the scent of his ladylove.

Other dozy animals have not been so lucky. The turkey vultures circle over sad heaps of roadkill. So far I’ve counted raccoon, rabbit, groundhog, and squirrel. Time to look up some spring woodland recipes!

The tips of the young willow trees have turned amazing mustard yellow. The silver pussy willows are swelling out of their hard casings. At the edge of the village the sap buckets are hung on the maple trees.

Yes, everything’s still blanketed with snow, but yesterday the first crocuses opened their faces to the sun. The bees can’t be far behind.

Bee! I’m expecting you!
By Emily Dickinson

Bee! I’m expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due—

The Frogs got Home last Week—
Are settled, and at work—
Birds, mostly back—
The Clover warm and thick—

You’ll get my Letter by
The seventeenth; Reply
Or better, be with me—
Yours, Fly.

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Just a Hint of Spring

Hysterical chickens squawk from the neighbors yard.
They couldn’t be more chuffed
At having laid the first eggs of the year.
A rivulet of ice-melt
Gushes from the broken gutter—
Add that to the list of post winter chores:
Cut back the dried grasses,
Rake out the flowerbeds,
Push frost-heaved garlic back into the cold earth,
Pull handfuls of chickweed from around the crocuses,
Sit in a patch of early sunlight with just a hint of warmth.

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SNOW–LOVE IT OR HATE IT?

IMG_3230It’s that time of year again; my halls are decked with dripping snow boots, pants, hats, and mittens. We’ve been frolicking in the fluffy stuff, building forts, packing snowballs, snapping snow scenes for holiday cards.

First out the door on a snow day is Dahlia, our resident snow cat. Ever since she was a kitten she’s loved the snow. Her mother, on the other hand, is happy to sit on the doorstep, soaking up the rays, but not setting paw anywhere near that disgusting cold, wet, white stuff. IMG_7319

Love it or hate it, we all fall somewhere on the snow spectrum. As a child I was way over to the left, under radically obsessed. The fact that we rarely ever got more than a mushy millimeter of snow in Ireland may have had something to do with it. Even a good frost classified as a “snowy” day. And then one year we got the mother of all snowfalls. It snowed for twenty-four hours straight, and by the end of it, the country was in total lock down, which lasted for weeks. I remember walking along snow banks with the tops of hedges poking out, and coming across cars buried in snow caves at the side of the road. My toddler brother owes his continued existence to his red snow suit. But for that, we’d have lost him, sunk up to his little uxters in a snowdrift. Needless to say, I was in heaven. IMG_2134

Now, living in the Northeast US, we get at least one good footer of a storm a year, and sometimes more. When the local forecasters go into hyperbolic mode about the massive storm barreling our way, I still feel that tingle of excitement. And even if I don’t always want to run out and make snow angels, I delight in the transformed landscape, and drink in the sharp tang of snowy air. IMG_0999

I believe I inherited my love of snow from my father. He never failed to get excited about a flake of snow, and often, when I call him up and tell him of our latest snowfall, he’ll express deep envy. My mother—not so much. She falls on the other end of the spectrum. Happy to look at a pristine landscape through a window, while snuggled up with a good book and a cup of tea, don’t ask her to step outside.

Where do you fall on the snow spectrum? Love it, hate it, or somewhere in between?

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