Still Winter

With the last storm, we have been taking advantage of the deep snow and of the days when the sun shines with a brilliance. It has been a great time for strapping on the snowshoes and exploring the woods. Two days ago, we tramped up over the ridge across from the farm. It was late in the day and the deer were just descending from the high ground. We counted 10 in a relatively short time. There were tracks everywhere! We came across many places where the ground had been pawed, signs that the deer are digging their way through the deep snow in search of acorns. A Barred owl swooped through just in front of us and landed on the branches of a giant oak tree. Now is the time we hear them calling back and forth to each other with their classic ” who cooks for you, who cooks for you” call. Listen here if you’ve never heard the call of the Barred Owl. They do have other calls as well but this is their typical mating call. Very distinct and one we hear often in the woods of Maine. We are hoping that we get a chance this weekend to head into the woods or trek across the lower fields at the farm. I suppose it’s what we need to do when any thoughts of spring have been put on halt. Spring will come, I believe it will, really I do. But for now, it’s still winter.
Let’s end with a poem about winter and snowshoeing by Sidney Beck…


This valley’s empty blueness
Is filling now with clear sunlight.
Snow clumps tumble from branches
Into man-deep drifts soft bright –
Warmth-rounded, but still chilled.

Big snowshoe-footprints harden
Into pools of blue shadow –
Setting off from a house and garden,
Half-hidden, marked only by the low
Recent prints half-filled.
by Sidney Beck

18 comments on “Still Winter

  1. yes, all my hopes for early spring are dashed. 😦 But I too am hearing the barred owls called ach other, and the goldfinches are back, though not yet gold. We had what must have been 50 on the feeders yesterday.

  2. Hi Denise , Thanks for sharing the owl video, it’s beautiful. Some of my most thrilling experiences have to do with seeing wildlife and many of them were in Maine. I really miss living in the woods ! Makylah heard an owl out in the back a few years ago, but I assumed it was a mourning dove as how could we have an owl here in the suburbs ? but a few months after that Josie and I opened the back door to go out and feed all the critters when a huge flutter in the tree caught our attention and there sat a beautiful horned owl ! A special memory I share with Karen was when a friend of ours took us out to the west dessert to see a herd of Mustangs. That brought tears to my eyes as its something I had always wanted to see….

    • Oh Sharoney, so good for the girls ( and you) to go into the woods! The woods bring me great peace of mind and tame my weary soul. A must, for me! Love you, Denise Howdy to Makylah and Josie!!!

  3. That poem really captures winter. Your day sounds lovely, but I must admit I am getting a teensy, weensy bit sick of winter and nor’easters. Holy guacamole, they have been coming fast and furious.

  4. I thought I’d be pruning by now. The snow has been wonderful for snowshoeing, but it’s a little nippy out there today. I think I’ll keep spinning.

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