Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Winter is coming

I look out over the green landscape this morning, listening to multiple species of birds calling happily, watching cats race through tall grass, smelling the bright scent of forest leaves, and think -

"Winter is coming."

This is a cute phrase from a fun fantasy series, George R.R. Martin's giant Game of Thrones. It's the slogan of a household charged with defending a realm against threats from a polar region, but never mind that. "Winter is coming" resonates seriously with us, given the sustained, deep challenges that season presents us on top of Vermont's mountains.

We're reminded of this in our continuous preparations. From spring through fall, we conduct many tasks to get ready for freezing and snow. Wood, for instance, its gathering, purchasing, cutting, sorting, stacking, and protection.

(experiment: bundling lots of thin bough cuttings into fasces)

After last week's heat wave (up to 90 F!), cool breezes and lowered temps are a relief... but also bring to mind, with iron inevitability, reminders of fall, the end of green, and the first frost. I know, intellectually and viscerally, that more heat is due. "Indian summer," more waves of heat, into October. But I see the dark green leaves twist to one side as wind drives up the mountain, and I can see the frozen ponds below them, clearly visible through the snow-covered, naked trees.

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