Monday, February 14, 2011

Mid-February: cold, snow, sun

Impressions from the middle of February:

  • I have dug out one of our major woodpiles.  We stacked it last fall, a single line of wood braced against a decades-old tree, standing on runners of old wood.  Since winter began snows have accumulated on either side of this stack, eventually rising above its three feet top.  So I shoveled and dug, gradually exposing hidden treasure: dry wood, smelling of last summer's cutting.
  • Snow is the stuff of temporary architectures all over our land.  There's Owain's grand fortification, Fort Vengeance, which now sports supporting trenches and an escape slide.  There are also several paths made of repeatedly trodden snow, firm lines snaking through softer drifts.  Come thaw they will persist for days, lineaments of colder times traced across wet grass.
  • Changed spaces: we stack wood in the basement all winter long, once the first few freezes hit in late autumn, killing any insects which might dwell in the pieces.  Stacked up like furniture or bars, they dry a little bit, becoming better fuel for the wood stove.
  • Weeks of clouds gave way to astonishing sun.  A 5-minute walk bakes my eyeballs with searing white: white of snowdrifts, of clouds, of snow hanging from trees like Spanish moss.

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