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!

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