It is white in White County today. The snow from yesterday mostly melted, but was replaced with a fresh blanket this morning. Stepping into my snow boots I decided to take a walk into the quiet. I love it you know…that fresh and clean look that makes every picture look like a black and white shot. Heading into the woods on a cold snow day is one of my favorite times to soak in the wonders of nature. Today the wind was whispering in the tops of the trees. Calling me out.
The birds were chatting to one another trying to prepare for the upcoming ice I guess. I wonder where do they go? Seems sitting in a nest in a tree wouldn’t be a place you could survive if you weighed a few ounces. Some have found their way to my porch and flit from bush to the swing and back again. Out on the street I spot the blue birds, and cardinals because they stand out among all the black and white tree limbs. They play chase with one another as if this is a nice spring day. It sets my mind at ease because if they are playing, they must not be too worried about surviving.
My feet crunch in the snow. I love that sound among the quietness of the day. It is like the whole world is insulated and every sound is muted as if I have ear plugs in my ears. The tiny flakes hardly make any sound at all as they cover the path in front of me. All is smooth and the ground appears even, but I am not fooled. I know this path and it is not smooth. From memory I find the deepest ditch and step into it so that the snow comes up almost to the top of my boot. This makes me smile because in my family we track how deep the snow is. It is a habit left over from our skiing days when we drove into the storm in search of the perfect powder. In this ditch it is probably 7 inches deep. Everywhere else it is 4 or 5 inches. We haven’ t had this much snow in years. It is beautiful. There are animal tracks…little ones…throughout the snow. Thankfully no bear tracks today.
The evergreens are heavily laden with snow. Their branches droop under the weight. The hardwood trunks are two tone because the wind has blown the snow onto them. It appears they are split in half down the middle and their arms are outstretched as if catching the flakes before they hit the ground is a game. As I am making my way through the woods, the sound changes. It starts off as a gentle hiss and then moves into a constant pour…the snow has switched over to freezing rain. The quiet spell is broken by the incoming ice. I begin my hike home, the smell of smoke from my chimney pulling me back to cozy and warm. The wintery mix is bouncing off my jacket and coating the limbs around me. I follow my own footsteps which make a path to my door. I take one more look around at the lovely blanket which insulates the earth. I know that underneath it all spring is sleeping and waiting her turn to come forth.