Arctic vortexes bringing ice, snow and wind chills of -24 degrees F. have made the start of 2014 a challenge for those of us in New England.
Winter’s icy grip has even surprised the Deep South creating havoc on roads, freezing pipes and causing power outages there and throughout the USA.
New Englanders usually embrace the season and the magical transmutation that snow and silence conjure in rural pastures and wooded hills.
I share this enthusiasm, but bitter wind and slippery roads have made even usually stoicfriends moan and stay in to enjoy a good book beside the wood stove…
The plucky little chickadees and the assorted titmice, finches and juncos that hangout with them are enjoying the abundance of sunflower seeds I’ve been providing to keep them fueled up, as the North winds blow.
Likewise, the feral cats that inhabit these winter woods with owls, fishers, raccoons, coyotes and bobcats are out looking for nourishment.I love seeing the overlapping patterns their tracks make as they crisscross the yard.
They all seem to fare better than the deer eating my yew hedge down to the trunks and nibbling arbor vitae trees to far above their heads.
My heart goes out to all of them on these nights that fall well below zero.
The maple sugaring season is in the wings and preparations are being made to tap that golden nectar of the Yankee gods for another year.
Soon enough, we’ll be complaining about mud season on our 18th C. dirt roads and Spring will be in the air.
But for now we’ll celebrate the brilliant sun on sparkling snow and the steady lengthening of the days…