Friday, March 2, 2012

OK, Snow, You May Go

What's the matter with me?  I've been longing for snow all winter, and now that we had a nice snowfall, I wish it would all go away.  It came too late, that's all -- after I'd got myself all primed for an early spring.  I had to nearly force myself to go outdoors today, but finally I did, choosing to wander along the Hudson where the river flows back into a marsh and around some islands.  Ah, but just the sight of those forested mountains against the sky and those graceful pines adorned with snow made me glad I'd made the decision to get outdoors.  As the psalmist sang, there's something about lifting one's eyes to the hills  that also lifts one's spirits.

The snow in the woods was not so deep that I needed snowshoes, but deep enough to  ease my passage over rocks and downed limbs as I made my way to where a frozen bay encircled Three Pine Island.  Out in the open river, the water ran free of ice.

 In other winters, I have found these particular woods criss-crossed with animal tracks of many kinds: deer, fox, coyote, fisher, and -- nearer the water -- otter and mink.  But not today.  Not even a trace of the trails of squirrels or mice.  All the critters must still be holed up in their dens since the start of this storm.  Well, I take that back.  I did find one critter.  But it didn't leave much of a trail as it walked across the snow.

 I'm always amazed to find spiders walking about in winter.  What do they find to eat this time of year?  Maybe they forage for hibernating insects hidden in the clefts of tree bark.  Or perhaps they feed on snow fleas or winter stoneflies or similar tiny critters that startle me by their lively presence in the wintry woods.

At least this nice thick layer of snow has brought some light into the woods, covering the dull dead brown of the forest floor and providing a foil for the rich tobacco-brown leaves that still cling to this Witch Hazel shrub.  The little beeches behind it still hold their leaves, too, although of a paler golden hue.

It's late on Friday night as I sign off this blog post, and I hear the rain falling outside.  I guess I will soon get my wish that this snow should all go away.  I'm really glad now that I did get out to enjoy it.


June said...

I kept saying I was happy that winter had been such a non-event, but the snow did brighten things up beautifully, didn't it!

New Hampshire Gardener said...

I feel the same-if only it could have come in December. But it's melting fast!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Greetings, fellow fans of snow, thanks for stopping by. Believe it or not, that snow is still around in some places (as of Mar. 8), despite days of warmth and rain.