Saturday, January 4, 2014

Six degrees below zero


It was bitter cold this morning - six degrees below zero as the sun came up.  

I own a pair of boots that I wear only a few days each winter - usually when I shovel snow.  Even with their thick woolen inserts they fit too loosely for walking far - unless I wear wool socks as well.  I own this pair of boots for the rare morning like this one.

wintering hives
The snow is a dust that has forgotten it was ever water.

The rhododendron leaves have drawn themselves down in tight coils, as if the plant were squinting against the cold.  

The only tracks across the whiteness are from birds among the weed-tops and a lone deer, who browsed a long path through the yard, nibbling cedar and pruning the cherry.  

I can hear a woodpecker pounding dully on the oaks.

I'll put out birdseed, which I haven't done yet this winter, but this is the kind of cold that can kill even the juncos and chickadees if their energies fail.  

And I'll sweep the little drifts from the beehive entrances, though no bee is going to try to venture out.

tree shadows on the snow