December 11, 2002

Journal 11 December 2002

The crusty snow and ice of a week ago is slushy enough to walk on safely this morning, even with a fresh overnight coating of frozen fog and freezing rain. Branches of Hemlocks along the creek, ravaged by a foreign hoard of indifferent insects, are slowly dying, and hold more frozen jewel drops of ice than green-gray needles: a sad kind of beauty.

The deer have come out of storm seclusion. They lay low when it would do them little good to browse for grasses buried under crusty snow, conserving their layer of fat for more productive foraging. This morning, their pronged prints come right up to the front steps, and show signs of a brief stop to munch the Hostas by the footbridge.

Swollen with snowmelt, the creek runs both under and on top of the thick ice- comforter that mutes amd modulates the more familiar sounds of a summer creek; water has learned a hundred new permutations, variations in the key of winter. Listen. The visceral core of creek runs hidden except in round patches of open water, dark against white. Green waters part around a steadfast rounded rock here and there and the world is full of flow, smooth and quiet as an Artic island.

Snowbirds leap for tiny seeds of broomsedge, their cold feet leaving cuneiform slits and wedges, like crop circles that appear out of nowhere. There is play in their work, tiny swingers of birches. Their antics in a motionless world are reason enough to have hope for spring. Meanwhile, I will love winter.

Posted by fred1st at December 11, 2002 08:49 AM

I'm looking forward to the after-storm landscape up here in New Hampshire. We've got a little bit of snow on the way (4-8 inches), just enough to whet the appetite.

Lord, but I do love winter!

Posted by: DCE at December 11, 2002 09:29 PM

Stay warm and be well. Take pics and post!

Posted by: Da Goddess at December 12, 2002 04:37 AM

Mmm . . . beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Posted by: Artichoke Heart at December 12, 2002 10:44 AM

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