marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

winter and snow

Alongside the road, crisply marked out with bright white and broad rims of ice, spread large puddles in the shade of the trees, next to a stream in full spate. For a minute I wonder whether it's flood or just low-lying land, but as I drive past a marshy spot, with rushes thickly growing (in the summer, now they are sere and yellow), I conclude the trees show it's forest by nature and now in flood.

How the snowfall traces the trees. Lines of brown and white, each paralleling each other.

The snow is not new fallen. Even from afar, you can see how dimpled it is, rising and falling in not quite regular hillocks, like waves on a choppy lake. And up close, you can a secondary set, much smaller, and equally not quite regular array of dimples.

In the twilight, the snowy scene is bluish, except for the warm bright windows in yellow in striking contrast.

After a snowfall, the rockfaces look like the breast of an owl: all white flecked with brown, like feathers.

On the leafless tree, above the snow, an entire flock of robins sits. Puffed up against the cold, their rusty red breasts all agleam in the sunlight. On my walk I hear birds twittering, and see a more plausible tree, filled with perching starlings -- and a couple of crows.

It snows, rounding off all the bushes and paths and shovel marks on the old snow. In a great bush, a flock of birds chirps and twitters as if they were flying north, even though the groundhog won't see its shadow on this snowy day. On the stoop, where the snow had blown in, a scattering of claw marks showed whether the birds had walked and even looped around. Along the roads, at one point the air was filled with cheeping; though the birds could not be seen, it sounded like a pet store with a lot of canaries. At another, small, dark birds filled up the trees, flitting from bough to bough every now and again.

In a snowstorm, ravens sit on the tree just outside the window, plumping up their feathers against the chill -- and how fat they look!

A hawk flies across the road -- then, considering, perhaps not -- it shifts so steadily and without twitching, and is so pale, that from this angle it might, actually, be a wind-borne plastic bag -- and then I drive under and get a better angle, and it is indeed a very pale hawk.

How colorless the ice in icicles is, flawless, transparent, with so few inclusions to be white.

Ice has grown along the north-facing rock-faces in the highway, rivulets of ice where the snow-melt froze again; in some places it's so thick that its depths are green. In many places, however, the snow on the cliffs masks it. Who can tell that white from another?

So many of the rain-spouts have sprouted ice like vast Cthulhu-like tentacles. Taller and narrower than the ice that forms on the rock-faces.

On the stream, you can see the paw-prints where the snow lay on the level. Rabbits for one, and a cat perhaps, that walked right up to where the water flowed over the concrete. Apparently to walk over it -- to be sure the water is thin there. (Here and there the water gaped black between the ice and snow. not often.)

Tags: nature
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