Three nor’easters in two weeks. Such is March in New England. The latest delivered over twenty inches of snow beginning yesterday morning. And still the flakes fall.
But staying inside all day would be much too confining and so I stretched my legs for a few hours before giving my arms another workout with driveway cleanup duty. It was much more fun to explore and listen to the chickadees sing.
There are a few places in our woods that I find myself stopping to snap a photo each time a snowstorm graces our area. The stand of pines with their trunks snow coated was one such spot yet again. And tomorrow the scene will transform back to bare trunks and so it was one I was happy to behold in the moment.
As was the older pine that grows beside a stonewall along the cowpath and perhaps served as the mother and grandmother of all the pines in my forest–bedecked in piles of flakes, her arms reached out as if to embrace all of her offspring.
With the snow so deep, I felt like a plow as I powered through under the insulated insulators.
Finally, I reached one of the entryways to Pondicherry Park and while I love being the first of the day to leave my mark, I’d secretly hoped someone had trudged before me. But . . . a few steps at a time meant taking frequent breaks to rest and look around.
Again, it was the snow’s manner of hugging tree trunks that drew my awe.
Sometimes it reminded me of giant caterpillars climbing into the canopy.
Even the roots of a downed tree took on an artistic rendition.
And that most invasive of species in these woods, bittersweet, offered curves worth appreciating–ever so briefly, of course.
Snow blanketed fences of stone and wood.
Enhanced the bridge.
And buried a bench.
Beside Stevens Brook, it looked as if winter still had a grasp though we’re about to somersault into spring.
And the reflection in Willet Brook turned maples into birches.
At Kneeland Spring, water rushed forth in life-giving form and the sound was one we’ll soon hear everywhere as streams and brooks overflow.
I went not to see just the snow in its many variations, but also the wildlife. I found that like me, the squirrels and deer had tunneled through leaving behind troughs. And the ducks–they didn’t seem at all daunted by the mounds of white stuff surrounding them.
In fact, one female took time to preen.
I found mourning doves standing watch.
And heard robins singing.
And because I spent a fair amount of time looking down, I began to notice life by my feet, such as the snow spider–an indicator that the thermometer was on the rise. It lives in the leaf litter, but when the temp is about 30˚ or so, it’s not unusual to see one or more. Today, I saw several. And wished I had my macro lens in my pocket, but had decided to travel light.
Winter stoneflies were also on the move. They have an amazing ability to avoid freezing due to the anti-freeze in their systems.
I also found a winter dark firefly. While the species is bioluminescent, I’m not sure if this one was too old or not to still produce light.
At last the time had come for me to head home for not only was the snow still falling, but so was the sky–or so it felt each time a clump hit my head as it fell from the trees.
We’ve got snow! In fact, we’ve got snows! And in reference to a question an acquaintance from Colorado had asked yesterday–“Are you hunkered down?” My answer was, “No, Jan, I’m not. Nor is the world around me. In fact, except for the shoveling, I relish these storms as winter holds on for just a wee bit longer.”