Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Wonderland

I find it amazing how a few degrees (OK, ten or fifteen degrees) can make all the difference in the world. I just got back from getting some new furnace filters. While out, I actually found a local gas station that has a functioning air compressor. Two of my tires were down two pounds each and two were down three. They got that way at the start of our recent cold spell. Along with shrinking air came frozen compressors. My low air pressure indicator light is no longer lit, thanks to today's heat wave. One of the errands I was on involved a trip to the Wildlife Science Center in (but not of) the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. Check their web site for hours, and, if you're in the neighborhood, stop by if you like wolves and other wild critters. Think about a membership as a holiday present. For all I've been able to tell in the 20 or so years we've lived her, they're good folks doing good work.

This is what our winter wonderland looks like these days. It's beautiful and enjoyable when the temperature is closer to 20 than to 0. I find plowed but snow covered roads perfectly acceptable in the country, although, when the thaw-freeze cycle starts in March they get very icy. On the other side of the road, hanging over the east edge of it, is one of three wasps nests I've found this year within about a one mile stretch of road. That's more nests than I've seen in our stretch of road the entire time we've lived here. I don't know if we've got more wasps, I'm becoming more observant, or some of each. Each time I come down the road, the cap of snow and general shape makes me wonder for a moment if it's an eagle in the tree.

Joyce Sutphen has a poem that fits this time of year. It's from "After Words."

In Winter

In winter, snow drifted through a crack
in the hay-barn door. Up there it was cold,
and the stacks of bales looked like cliffs of green
that we climbed so we could throw the hay down

to the chute and into the barn where it was warm.
Down in the barn, the heads of the cows turned
towards us when we broke open the bales and
forked chunks of alfalfa into their cribs.

We were in the middle of Bethlehem,
and "Away in a Manger" was always
playing while the kind eyes of Holsteins gazed
on us with all the love we'd ever need.

Later, walking across the yard, we saw
the brightest star over the hay-barn roof.
Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily. And don't forget, today is release day for Flat Earth Diary.