A Snow Heart just for you!!! Found it on my walk the other day out back and had forgotten to take a real camera. So, cell phone photo it is!
Also, thought this piece by my Dad went along well with a nice walk in the woods or ski. Or love, if you are a red fox!
by Bruce H. Mero
It was a mid-February dawn. The farm was hidden in a frozen fog. The temperature was 4 degrees and the air was still. As the sun broke the horizon, rays of light streaked the fog and revealed hoarfrost on every surface. Zhivago's Virykino was in the birch trees just beyond the window. As the advancing sun began to burn off the fog, the emerging world was a myriad of sparkling ice crystals embodying trees and bushes.
On our cross-country skis, we immersed ourselves in this magical place, able to glide effortlessly and soundlessly on a solidly frozen snow sprinkled with fresh ice powder. Everywhere the sunlight was magnified and reflected in the ice crystals and we flew. Gemstones hung everywhere. Bejeweled branches brushed our wings. Pine swags were colonies of crystal caterpillars; dried milkweed pods vitreous hummingbirds. Wild grapevines appeared as gossamer cobwebs hung from crystallite trees waiting to capture dancing cellophane-winged dragonflies that were last year’s goldenrod.
Our familiar woods was transformed into an enchanting new world. And then, for a reason I do not understand, the frost began to loosen its hold upon the branches above us. A diamond dust of ice prisms rained down, intensifying and transforming the sunlight into a million rainbows. It was transcendental. And it was fleeting. A blizzard of frost snow in a light breeze and it was over. The experience was beyond the common and one of those moments that will endure in memory.
As we turned toward home and glided next to the ancient stone wall that separated our land from that belonging to our neighbor, we noticed all around us the tracks of a large number of wild turkeys. We had been so entranced with the rain of hoarfrost we had failed to notice the turkey tracks. Given their newness, we probably were approaching the birds during the blizzard of falling frost and never noticed. Our entry into their foraging grounds did not go unnoticed. The tracks atop the freshly fallen frost snow were helter-skelter and evidence that the birds were not expecting our interdiction and had scattered upon our approach. As we advanced in the same direction as the birds, the tracks became more organized. Distinct pathways, a foot in width and made by dozens of individuals, weaved among the scrub and evergreen trees. Three such highways were found at the southernmost boundary of the property, steaming scat an indication that only moments separated the turkey troop and us to this spot. And then a pair of coyote tracks making the same, hurried trek. Were we pushing them or was it the scent of a turkey breakfast that moved the pair this way? We then encountered another set of tracks. A pair of amorous red foxes had crossed the trail since the frost snow and left neat knit lines of footprints, interrupted at several places by circles of prints as the couple danced and embraced. Neither was interested apparently, with the turkeys that had just been there. At Gretchen’s right heel a partridge flushed from a snow cave beneath the bent branches of a spruce tree, then a second. They have had an exciting start to the day, I imagined, with all that has passed this way. Or is this normal and only I that found it extraordinary?