Monday, January 19, 2009

Deep Winter

The sun has risen to a clear cold sky after many days of snowy weather. Cold enough last night to freeze the snowpack so the conditions are good for chaga gathering. My son and I will be going out today on a mountain side north of us to begin the winter harvest. The deep forest of the summer opens up in the winter with the lack of foliage. The sun can shine in and the open forest reveals it’s secrets. The tracks of the forest animals will be a wonderful gift as we wonder the hillsides. Coyotes, mink, snowshoe hare, white footed mice, bobcat and porcupine will be some of the tracks we may see. It is time to pack up our woven Adirondack packs with maps, water, food and most important - a good compass. January has arrived with deep snow and some 20 below zero temperatures. This is our time for winter meditations about last year and what will come in the new year.

The new arrivals of Rose Breasted nuthatches, gold and purple finches, morning doves and a Barred owl have given our solitude a small winter family to enjoy. Coyotes and Bobcats are hunting our woods for snowshoe hares leaving their tracks to read. As the snow is falling on this Sunday afternoon I thank all that makes this life so rich and meaningful.

Don January 18 2009