This morning when I stepped outside I was able to walk around to the dog kennel. The ice had disappeared off the driveway and the deck. It was in the mid-thirties. The air was oddly warm, and had a feel of spring, even though snow still covers the yard. The puffy clouds above me cleared and blue sky shown through.
I am going out to relatives for Christmas dinner and I wanted to post before I left. Here is a piece I wrote, December 17, 2009, I had written two other Blog entries that day, and I thought three was just too much. So I posted it today. Enjoy!
I walked out the garage door, and pulled it closed behind me. The wet snow earlier in the week had warped the door frame, now with everything frozen the door was pulling back when I opened or closed it. Why is it, that when I can’t work outside, due to the weather. Something breaks, or as in this case the door frame, the side by the near the hinges, decides to disintegrate…
The sky above me is bright blue and clear. The air is dangerously cold! I was surprised to see a dozen, or so small flighty birds hopping from tree to tree and singing.
Slipping my knit hat off my head I stopped to listen. I could hear birds chirping, singing and complaining. Looking around I found even more of them in the trees next to the barn and shed. They flittered between the dead evergreen next to the shed and the gravel in front of the barn. Then onto the leafless mulberry trees on the West side of the barn.
Small round birds, I believe they are, Dark-Eyed Juncos, soft grey feathers on their heads and back. That grey reaches along the top of their tail feathers, then changes to white slipping to their underbelly and chest. They looked like they sat in a can of white paint. Right now they were complaining loudly and flying from one tree to the next. How dare I interrupt their fun!
I heard a single call of a Blue Jay in the trees, then silence.
Off around the back yard, looking south, past the outside dog kennel. I could see a red blur jumping in-between the miniature crab apple trees. Male Cardinals, searching out dried seeds from the taller dried grasses that leaned against the trees.
Slipping on my hat, I whistled for Uriah. Slowly and nosily, we made our way across the frozen snow to the back path.
I stopped at the mid-way point, the Northern tree line. To stare up into the blue, blue sky in-between the branches of a fifty foot tree. The sky was a solid dark blue, almost an Electric Indigo. The deepest part of that color sat on the tips of that leafless tree, and then weakened into a lighter blue as I moved off center. Looking towards the south-east, the sun was a brilliant white, fading the sky into a powder blue.
Today, I was using two ski poles to maneuver through the snow. Walking carefully, I made my way towards home. The snow, where I had walked days before, had frozen over into an uneven ice rink.
Uriah’s long black nails on the frozen snow, made a sound similar to him walking on a wooden floor. His toes were spread out over the ice, and he gripped with those hard nails. He stayed by me for a moment, and then ran under the old apples trees chasing something only he could see.
I purposely cut out a new pattern in the snow, avoiding the dangerous path. I set my heels down first so I could break the top of the snow and keep my balance. Otherwise, stepping down carefully wouldn’t allow me to break through the top layer of ice, and I nearly lost my footing.
I began to notice the sound. My first step with my heel, was like an ‘AHHR- then, to complete the step, the rest of my foot rolled into the snow, with a, ‘RRRRR,’ sound.
Add in the sound of the ski poles. Starting out with a stabbing crunching, then ending with a ‘Brrrrr,’ sound, as I tilted the pole moving into the next step.
Walking along, I was paying so much attention to the sounds I was making, that they became over powering. I stopped and removed my hat so I could hear something other than my noisy intrusion into such a quiet, sunny day,
I couldn’t hear one bird on the path, nothing! Silence! I probably scared them deeper into the tree line.
Walking back towards the house and dragging my noise with me. When I heard the sound of the train in town, I stopped to listen, “Thump- thump- thump!” Without the winds the train sounded muffled and very far away. Like a thick growl, vibrating along the ground….