Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Solstice / Long Days Time

After many weeks of heavy rain, blustery wind, and fire in the woodstove to cancel the persistent chill, the Summer Solstice has arrived in splendid fashion.
Brilliant sun falls through the lush foliage, woven into a living tapestry around my woodland home.
Golden-green light suffuses the air, as tree boughs bend and dip in the benign breeze.
The resident creatures emit a collective sigh of pleasure to find themselves under a cerulean sky, basking in warm sun or lolling in cool shade, after a challenging spring.
The nesting birds have had the hardest time, violently tossed about in the frequent storms as arctic fronts clashed with humid weather from the south.
It seems the black bears have fared better. They shyly emerge in my yard from time to time, coats glossy blue-black and radiating good health, despite the long winter and raw spring.
Butterflies and bees seem more plentiful this year, as the late-blooming rhododendron opens her fuchsia flowers and irresistibly draws them near, en masse.
The Long Days Time arrives with the Solstice, as Nature starts to slow her pace and put efforts toward the growing fruit. The Long Days Time announces the fulfillment of spring’s promise of abundance resulting from a firm rooting in the Earth. It is the first of the three cycles of the summer season
 Today is the height of the year, the Zenith Sun, the longest day and shortest night…
It was a magical time in cultures around the world for many centuries. Bonfires blazed and blessings were petitioned for with cake and ale…
It is still a cherished time for humanity as a whole, as we slow down and savor the beauty of the season.
May your gardens be fruitful and good times plentiful, as you gather to celebrate the summer days to come.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Sparkling Winter's Day

The snow is deep again in these craggy New England hills.

A surprise thaw had removed it all and then the “historic” storm replaced it, days later. We bask today in brilliant sun, reflecting off the pristine layer that arrived in the hours before dawn.

I ventured out on snowshoes into my woods early this morning, to savor the beauty and enjoy the crisp, fresh air. As I crunched along an old logging road I was accompanied by a cheerful band of chickadees that are my daily companions during the winter months.
The male cardinals were beginning to call, hidden atop the hemlock trees, sadly depriving me of their brilliant crimson plumage on this Valentine’s Day.
I crossed many trails of deer, their deep footprints a shadowy blue in the diagonals of sunlight falling through the bare trees. I had spotted a young doe after the melt and was shocked to see a young fawn trying to keep up with her. It was good to see no signs of them in the mounting drifts. The erratic weather has upset all the natural cycles it seems.
The distinctive print of a lone wolf soon caught my eye, snaking back and forth through the deer tracks. Sometimes he howls late at night advertising for a new companion. He lost his mate two or three winters ago now. I thought I heard an answer once but way off in the distance.
Red foxes are courting despite the chill and barred owls shout out their ardent mating calls. Love is indeed in the air…
Many cold days still lay ahead, but one by one, we persevere, we make it through the darkness of another winter and into the light of Spring.
Hang in there, oh despairing ones… and a happy Valentine’s Day to each and all!