Yesterday morning when I looked out the window I saw grays and whites, clouds and snow. A small section of the sky had a rolling cloud; it was unraveling in grayish-yellow sections in a futile attempt to filter down a ray of sunshine.
Without thinking I slipped on my gym shoes instead of my boots. I had packed the snow down on my walks, so the path we took no longer had me wading through deep drifts. Still it was a mistake to forget my boots. I figured that out when I was standing in the snow next to the apple trees up to my ankles.
I kept moving towards the path. I told myself that my feet wouldn’t get any warmer until I pulled on some heavier socks. That won’t happen until I have my morning coffee, and that isn’t even in my universe until Uriah was walked.
So I continued on…
I stopped on the path when I saw something clear and shining under the snow. Uriah hesitated, and watched me dust the snow off the ground. The ice was solid and window pane clear. Around it the ice swirled with white; it resembled a vase I had seen once. When I started to walk away, Uriah turned and disappeared between the trees.
I noticed that an animal had been digging little holes underneath the trees and around specific plants. I couldn’t figure out why, or what he would be after. I thought, maybe he smelled the rodents that burrowed tunnels under the snow. Except the holes only reached the frozen grass, and then he moved on to the next. The area was, too, trampled down for me to make out chipmunk tunnels under the snow.
I stopped along the southern fence line, every tree and bush was covered in a white haze.
Usually the crystals would melt if I breathed on them. This time, I exhaled like I was blowing out candles. When they didn’t melt, I began to wonder if my breath was warm enough.
I held onto one branch and looked very closely at the ice crystals; I wiped off a section from one small twig. As I watched, and this only took a few seconds, the ice crystals grew back.
I tried again to melt the crystals by exhaling on them. I watched the crystals melt. Then I watched them reform, not as pretty as the original ones, but still they grew in an upward fernlike spikes, called stellar dendrite.
I wished I had a magnifying glass to watch as the crystals grew. I never saw anything happen so fast!
The air was very damp and cold, a bitter cold. I wondered if that dampness was the cause the crystals grew so quickly.
I heard Uriah huffing angrily! He raced at me across the field! His hackles were up as he sniffed at my leg, checking me out. He walked around me once more making sure I was alright. He didn’t even ask for a biscuit. He stopped, sniffed the air and scrapped his back legs hard, the snow shot out behind him. Then, using his hound dog impression, Uriah looked up to the sky and barked. He set his nose to the ground and ran ahead of me, snorting angrily! He stopped and sniffed each of those little holes, with disgust!
I watched his dominance dance few seconds, and then I look out over the farmer’s field, towards the east, something moved, a coyote!
I whistled and the coyote stopped and laid down.
Coyotes, have responded to my whistle and my voice before, so this wasn’t a surprise. But, my feet were freezing and my legs burned from the cold air and I was ready to head home. Not chase Uriah over an open field…
I called for Uriah and the coyote sat up and listened…
He was waiting for us to leave.
I wanted my coffee so he wins…
**Picture from Word Clip Art