I entered a land of natural tinsel as I began the climb to Arrowhead Lodge this morning. Looking out the Lodge windows, I see why a superintendent of schools might cancel classes. All the tree branches are coated, like ubiquitous glass paperweights. On days like today I entertain second thoughts about our decision not to install code-compliant railings around our deck. A slip-and-slide could land me humpty-dumptied in Opossum Run -- and no one would find me for hours.
Down on our little farm, occasional balls of sleet had begun to join the raindrops minutes before I left. If I were blindfolded and transported roundabout one location to the other, I might think they were in different gardening zones. One spring day not long ago I ran from the cabin, warm in shorts and a tee shirt until the valley floor, 20 degrees colder, coaxed me to a faster pace. Typically, we have 3 or 4 frosts on the farm before the first one on the mountain, but in the summertime we can count on the cabin for cooling off.
As I prepare to practice piano, it sounds as if a million toy soldiers are fighting battles on our metal roof. The creek drones a persistent pedal point. Otherwise, the woods wait, silent, for Spring.
"You could use better ears," says Virginia. "All sorts of things are happening out there. They may look dead, but the woods aren't waiting."
That's what pulls me through January and the "hungry month" of February -- that, and, I'm told, Omega-3 fatty acids. (Some folks prescribe lots of fish, free-range eggs, and pasture-raised meats, great bearers of healthful nutrients, to battle winter blahs.)
Different strokes for different folks
2 weeks ago