Sunday, December 4, 2016

Woods on a Snowy Evening

Ever since the first smattering of snow a couple of weeks back, there's been a sense of weather-related restlessness among the population. Nobody gets excited about snow in February, but a December without snow seems barren and forlorn - so we watch the forecasts and sniff the air and try not to think about that horror of horrors, a green Christmas.

Hence Mr. M's opening remark after getting up this morning. Whilst I was yet lingering under the flannel sheets, thinking (as one does) of crochet, he popped his head back into the room and announced, "We got a present!"

A present indeed. Snow had fallen softly all night, and was still falling. Suddenly our world had become a white and magical place.

Why is the first good snowfall so exciting? It happens every year. You'd think we'd be enured to it, but we're not; it's a wonder that never grows old. And even though we have photos galore of snowy scenes past, we still get out our cameras to take pictures of this snow.

If no two snowflakes are alike - if each one is forever unique in the universe - then every snowfall is a shower of singularity, a flurry of minute and miraculous never-to-be-seen-again-ness. If that's not exciting, what is?

Here are some photos from today's walk....


Snow has continued falling all day, and the air is damp and hazy. The marsh-around-the-corner is starting to freeze over; the geese that have rested there every night for weeks will have to look for open water elsewhere.

I'm headed for the prairie restoration project, always a pleasant destination on a snowy Sunday.

Snow provides a fresh background for familiar things, letting us see their shapes anew. The curl of dried grass is much more striking with the new snow behind it:

Falling snow damps not only sound but colour, reducing the landscape to basic hues. Tawny prairie to the left, black-and-white woods to the right:

A seed head wrapped in snow:

Young woods rejoicing in white:

This snow is the sticky, persistent kind - light enough to pile up, but slightly too wet to be fluffy. It forms into thin ridges on every branch and twig...

...and piles into absurd little caps on all the dried flowers.

It throws a misty veil of wonder over the oak and chestnut woods...

...and beautifies even a barbed-wire fence.

The last bit of trail is nothing short of breathtaking - what Anne of Green Gables would surely call a White Way of Delight:

A few minutes after taking that last photo, the unseen sun drops below the horizon and the world turns dim and grey. I've walked through fairyland; it's time to head home for supper.

Happy December. :)

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