Yesterday, the temperatures rose high enough that the snow became heavy and started to thaw, just enough to become slippery and wet.
Twenty-four hours later, today. The snow was solid and slick with chucks of sharp ice.
The snow was so hard Uriah’s paws slid as he walked across the top without breaking through. Instead he slipped and fell. He was not amused! I tromped over to him, allowing my weight to break the top layer of snow. I moved slowly to where Uriah sat. He looked irritated at the smooth, white snow stretching out in front of him.
Stabbing my ski poles into the snow on either side of Uriah, I tried to slide him off the top of the snow bank, onto the area I packed down. When he was back on his feet/paws, Uriah glanced back at the tree he had been heading for, for a second he hesitated, sighed and made an odd grumbling, growling sound.
If Uriah had fingers I bet he would have flipped the bird at that snow bank.
Uriah made a half hearted attempt to walk behind me, then he decided to walk next to me, on that snow covered frozen path.
As we walked the sky cleared and a deep, purplish blue sat on the horizon to the east. I stopped and looked straight up. The sky was slightly hazy grey. Some low clouds moved above me, giving me a closed in feeling.
The air held an odor of pond water, fishy and green smelling. As I headed along the path a sweet, bitter smell of smoke curled around me until I reached the far back. At that point, the path turns to the north and rounds out and heads back west, towards the house. Just then, the wind picked up blowing in from the north-east, and pushed away the burning campfire smell. The air changed, I could smell cows, manure and hay.
As far as I could see, the snow covered the fields. A pattern of colors and lines weaved in and out. I looked towards the farmer’s barn; I could see cows walking slowly and dark earth pushing up between snow drifts. Grey ice covered the lower areas, frosted and untouched by the slightly warmer air.
Uriah and I reached some heavy bushes; we walked underneath them instead of around. A tiny, black headed bird, complained at our intrusion. Uriah nudged my pocket I stopped and broke a milk bone in half and handed it to him. He was happily crunching away when a stick snapped next to us, we both turned to the right.
Not more than a foot away from us was that Pheasant! His neck was stretched up high. Light grey with a dark blackish blue ring around his neck. He looked startled and scared, and he slowly backed away from us, then turned and flew into the taller trees. He missed the first branch and then started running towards the Bog Willows. He ran into a tree trunk flapping and scooting around until he disappeared into the trees.
Picture a very stupid cartoon bird!
All this took no more than a couple of minutes, both Uriah and I watched him with our mouths open, Uriah forgot his biscuit. I forgot my camera…
Insert, heavy sigh, rolling eyes, slap on forehead and Homer Simpson’s “D’oh!”
Uriah looked at me. I shrugged and he made a half hearted move to chase the bird. He took a couple of steps, then changed his mind and continued eating his biscuit.
Winter around here won’t end until April, if we are lucky.