Mid-November and snow is falling. Any gold blanketing the ground has been lost for the year; autumn 2013 is in the books and winter is underway. A good eight inches has come up over the past twenty-four hours, which is not a great number considering winter, but it’s the herald of things to come: more snow, maybe a little rain and then more snow again, but plenty of cold, cold, frigid cold hangs behind November’s calendar page.
I shoveled the deck this morning; a path leading from the house to the rail, and an “access road” that cleared the ground for anything that falls. Suet and peanuts, shelled sunflower seeds, and leftover breakfast is the fare for the chickadees and camp robbers, and this year we seem to be welcoming a new visitor, a black bird of robber size. Amusing to watch, the grey coats will land, dust off the seed in the tray and hop in to gorge on whatever they can haul away. Back and forth, back and forth, all day until the suet and other high-calorie delights have disappeared, they are tireless in their determination to hog it all into the crook of a tree somewhere. I’ve given up wondering if they notice their pals stealing from them as soon as they fly away, but everybody’s happy with how it works out and I’m content to watch the shenanigans and hijinx.
Other mornings the trees are backlit with a blaze of gold and salmon, riches in the sky that make winter the best time of year for coffee and a view. The stillness of this day muffles what I missed of sunrise – white and close, large flakes settling onto one another in a clumping effect to mound and hill and shroud everything recognizable in white and a spectrum of grays.
As the day wanes and the cold begins to seep in, I’m grateful I’m on this side of the glass.