Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mother Natures Winter Ball

Before the storm
Mother Nature's children threw a winter celebration yesterday.  Like rebellious teenagers the party they held lasted  20 hours, and nothing could sooth their frenzied nerves. The Snow Sisters danced to the beat of their  Wind Brother's band, sliding sideways to the earth or filing single file into tall six foot snowbanks.  They stopped only for a moment to pick up speed and continue on into another snow slide to sway with the long brown flower stalks as partners. Like ballerinas they swirled and pirouetted in to a mix of crescents and rifts, leaving the imprints of wind skis through out the yard.  When the crescendo of the wind fluttered to a quick stop, the ground was left bare as they gathered again  like a skateboarder to leave silent arks between the tall oaks and and the fences corralling them into silent surrender.

Brother wind sang with the howls of the wolves, speeding around corners of the house with the flash of a falling star, catching the snow gusts swinging them in to the air only to crash against the window in a merciless abandonment.  He was so powerful in his glorious sweep of the land that there were no bounds to hold in the snowflakes caught on his breath.  Like ocean waves crashing against the shores,  they frolicked riding against the shrubs and tall oaks, daring them to stop their wild and wonderful dance.  It was a nite of wonder  and bewilderment, as the curtains of snow rose a hundred of times to reveal the wood line and the grey clouds that attended the merriment yet could not bring themselves to the final curtain call.  They sang, and danced for close to a day, until falling into heaps on the ground to rest till another day.

Today the sun came in to view the spectacle left by the party goers and shook his head, young folks he said, as he tried to straighten the melee left behind....but the third sibling the cold had not yet begun his tribute and the temperatures dipped to 20 below, leaving the sun to simply add his light and repaint the pictures that were left behind.   The wind now tired by his last escapade flowed softly thru the shrubs and tall grasses, looking for any bit of the snowflakes that were dancing before, but all had fallen now , exhausted into mountains of fluff, silent, and could not be awakened with the gentlest of of his breaths.  Chickadees  replaced his merciless howling, with calls of glad tidings that the storm was over.  The Blue Jays scratched at the feeders of corn and sunflower seeds, scraping away the awry snowflakes that took comfort there.   The great red headed woodpecker now hung from the suet feeder, no longer having to hang on for dear life when the wind laughed and lounged at his favorite dish.  The black and white Downy's are skittering up and down the tree trunks, looking for tasty bits that have survived this last wintry blast.  Its morning, and the merriment has subsided, leaving in its aftermath, huge mounds of whipped snow to be explored with a shovel or snow blower, and sliced through  like an ice cream pie, for paths to the paddock, and dogs furry footprints.

Twenty-one inches or more fell throughout yesterday 's hours of frolicking. The dogs toys are now hidden away beneath the mounds, to be found in spring when the air turns warm. My big whites tunnel thru the piles, with their noises throwing up sprays of dusty snow.  Rolling, and sliding they are light enough to walk top of the mountains, with out sinking up to knees like their owners are about to do. My husky dances for joy and runs through the garden oblivious to cold, windy bursts, searching for the moles that just might come up for air thru the marshmallow hills.  After three hours of snow blowing, we finally made our way to the pens, where, the fierce winds had swept snow in through every open nook and cranny, leaving small piles of crusted snow covering the alpacas feeders and inside the chicken coop where it had forced it way in thru the door and any crack not filled with straw. The sparrows that took shelter with the chickens are now anxious to be released into the the new world of snow and ice after I lift the trap door. The pair of geese saunter off to bath in the snow dust and preen their feathers oblivious of the cold northern wind blowing around the corners of the fences. Sadly, in the corner of the coop, lies a victim of the fierce cold storm, my old  Royal Palm turkey, has succumbed to old age and the cold.  He was one of the first to occupy the pen, and I knew he wouldn't make the winter. But this Homestead is all the occupants "Forever Place" to live out their lives with fervor and grace.

Its a beautiful day out however, the sun is shinning, a cold wind still blowing, leaving the sharp clear picture of winter only the North lands can offer.  The fields are glazed over by the frozen top layers of snow now, and sparkle like diamonds in the rays of the sun. There is not a print to be seen, cept for along the wood line where deer tracks can be seen leaping over the drifts of snow piled up in front of all the brush and tree lines.  Every so often the wind gathers up enough strength to blow up a cloud of snow to vanish into the clear blue sky.  It is worth the fortune that we will pay for the snowplowing today, as black and white colors of an old time photograph are now here in front of the homestead in contrast to the colorful colors of the summer.  There is nothing so refreshing as the aftermath of a huge snowstorm, to bring one's reality into focus.  The cool, crisp taste of winter flowing into the clear blue sky , brushed by the now gentle wind reminds us that Mother Nature is still in charge, regardless of how powerful we humans think we may be.  And this homesteader stands in awe of her powers, and beauty so often taken for granted.  Its going to be a wonderful winter, this year...the beginning of a season of worship, knowledge, and serenity of the powers greater than man, and as fine as a wisp of snow. The sorrows of the past year will be put away,buried under the cover of the cool white snow, stored in memory for future reference , many miles on down the road.
 I will not look back and try to figure out the mysteries of the moments, or the whys and wherefores of the questions,  leaving them to scatter like the stubborn leaves left on the oaks before the storm, and quietly disappear with the passing of time.

And the sun shines again