Friday, December 1, 2006

Winter's Come

Friday, December 1, 2006
6 comments
The old wolf oak at the end of the driveway looks to me like a skeleton on this cold winter day.

The huge front that's all over the news arrived here at Indigo Hill today. Any trees that were pretending it was still autumn were smacked hard in the face by the howling, and I mean HOWLING, winds out of the southwest.

If we thought we were cheating winter these last few days, with temperatures in the 70s(!) we were reminded today just how foolish those thoughts were.

Changeable weather makes everything weird. I get all itchy and restless. Tonight, while fixing dinner (chicken potpie and brownies--a comprehensive culinary coverage of the food chart) I dropped the eggs twice, breaking 5 total. Is there anything harder to clean up from a kitchen floor than smashed eggs? I am such a spaz.

At 3 pm I HAD to get out of the house. The temperature had gone from 65 this morning to 32 and the raindrops had metamorphosed into snowflakes. But get out I must. So I walked until I couldn't take the sparring of the wind anymore. My eyes were welling with tears from the snappy bite of the wind. My fingers drew no comforting warmth balled up in my coat pockets.
I watched the edge of the front roll the last of the blue sky under its wheels along the southeastern horizon. It was the curtain coming down on the fall. Winter now owns the stage and this act of the play lasts from now until the woodcocks start peenting in March.

But not all about winter's body-slam arrival is bad. New birds show up at the feeders, blown into our midst by the push of the weather front. Today the purple finches are back and I heard a pine siskin lisping into the swirling air, though it failed to make an appearance at the feeders.

The wind today was so strong that the leaves--even the huge sycamore leaves--are all blown from the yard. In 13 years here at Indigo Hill, we've never raked leaves. Instead, on this ridgetop farm, the winter wind rakes for us.

I stood out on the hill, by the fire circle and the tire swing and I remembered summer--and the feel of the dewy grass under my bare feet last June. Hard to conjure that same feeling standing on top of the dead, brown, crunchy stuff now underfoot. But conjure we must. It's all we have until winter is weakened by spring's emergence.

I'll ply the fire with kindling now, I'll pull the blankets up to my chin
I'll lock the vagrant winter out and bolt my wandering in....

I'd like to call back summertime
and have her to stay for just another month or so...


6 comments:

On December 1, 2006 at 9:15 PM Anonymous said...

That photo IS the epitome of summer.

Thanks again for a fabulous post.

S

On December 1, 2006 at 10:20 PM Susan Gets Native said...

The front that hit you today got to us first. It was 69 yesterday and today it didn't even get to 40.
Brrrr!
Oh, that red hair on Phoebe. Tell her if she ever dyes it, I will never forgive her!

On December 2, 2006 at 12:16 PM Liza Lee Miller said...

Ah, but you are a wonderful brownie making spaz who cleans up his broken eggs so all is no one minds at all!

On December 2, 2006 at 6:37 PM Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, Saturday, Dec. 2
I also was very disappointed this morning when I was listening to Jacks Backyard (WEEU Reading, PA)and he announced that he was interviewing you at 9:15 am. I left for another engagement before 9 am. Sorry I missed you.
I'm curious, how do you make your pot pie? I'm from PA Dutch country and here we make boiled pot pie, with squares of dough and potatoes usually made in a chicken broth.
Enjoy your blogs.
Rachel from PA

On December 4, 2006 at 10:42 AM Rondeau Ric said...

I think that wind came Through Canada on its way to you.
Lost a few trees in the area. Minor damage around the house.

Did you just realize that you’re a spaz? I'm surprised JZ doesn't keep you informed of these important facts. Go have another beer and it won’t bother you any more.

RR

On December 7, 2006 at 9:54 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Rachel:
My pot pie is basic. I used leftover baked chicken this time and pre-fab pie crusts. The rest is just sauteed veggies and seasoning/flavorign to taste. I like to saute the veggies in butter and red wine and, since there's so much salt in the powdered garlic & herb soup mix we use, I don't add any salt. Herbs de Provence is the seasoning that makes it savory.
Pretty simple really.


[BACK TO TOP]