Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Like the old days

Yesterday's snow certainly "freshened" the landscape. The new snow makes it obvious that the squirrels haven't yet been at the bird feeder in front of the house, but what looks like a couple or three whitetails checked the pear tree behind the house during the night.

Winter deer tracks under pear tree
Winter deer tracks under pear tree
Photo by J. Harrington

The combination of fresh snow, blue skies and sunshine reminds me of the Minnesota winters I used to know. The Winter Misery Index, I think, should be adjusted to include the number of cloudy days. I admit we don't have to shovel cloudiness, but neither does it help my normally sunny(?) disposition. At the moment, the wind seems to have died down and the sun is shining. Time for me to go blow last night's snow out of the driveway before it gets all driven over and packed down. Here's a reminder of how cheery our Winter woods can look when the sun is shining.

Sun-dappled Winter woods
Sun-dappled Winter woods
Photo by J. Harrington

The Double Leash

By Katharine Coles 
Blizzard to lilac. Dandelion
to leaf. Endless
variation of seasons I note

in passing, smells
I cannot smell: rotting
gardens, feces, musk of cat.
                                              These two      

run in front of me, golden
shoulder to patchwork, heads
lifted or lowered into

scent, tongues lolling. Ears
damp with their own
spittle and each other's

tell me, tethered a pace behind,
their journey's epic: tipping
forward to the familiar or
stranger's distant yap; angling

to my breathing, whispered
praise, my slightest

                                                          The shepherd
throws herself into

any whirring wheel, to herd
the neighbor's tractor mower or
the UPS truck's packets
home; pulling her back,

the golden's oblivious
ballast, instinct heading
always for the gutter's

deepest puddle, her own way
within the forked leash's
one-foot range. As we pass,

the clans set up
their barking, as if we
were news, gathering center

of a congenial warning
din—mine answer with
disturbances of pace, an extra pull
or lollop, grins thrown

slant-eyed over shoulders
until one hears a call
she can't ignore, surrenders

to baying's ferocious
joy moving through
muscle and bone. Moving
storm, storm's eye: happy

universes whirl in their skins
as I do in mine. Unknowable,
their fate. Mediums between
foreign principalities, they're tied

to me, to each other, by my will,
by love; to that other realm
by song, and tooth, and blood.

Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.