|Edge of the Woods|
“Thick clothes, thick books,” I thought this morning as I bundled up like a sausage for a morning walk with Sarah. The books I had in mind were The Divine Comedy and The Portable Thoreau. After collecting new e-mail, I had begun the reading day with Thoreau’s essay, “A Winter Walk,” suggested by a friend’s message.
As the day advances, the heat of the sun is reflected by the hillsides, and we hear a faint but sweet music, where flows the rill released from its fetters, and the icicles are melting on the trees; and the nuthatch and partridge are heard and seen. The south wind melts the snow at noon, and the bare ground appears with its withered grass and leaves, and we are invigorated by the perfume which exhales from it....
There was no sun visible as Sarah and I approached the woods, but it was a warmer morning than I had anticipated when adding layers of clothing indoors.
|Holes made by snow on branches melting and falling to ground|
|Old edge marked by line of mature trees|
|Overnight wind from southeast?|
|Someone tiny passed this way|
My anticipation this December 30 is not for the last day of the year (tomorrow) or the first day of the next (Sunday) but for the first of my outdoor sitting hours. Already thinking ahead to the beginning of my year-long adventure, sounds of this warm December morning seemed more sharply in focus. Crows nearby. Barking dogs at the kennel a couple miles to the east. A little bird in a bush, not singing but uttering a simple cheet-cheet-cheet. What was that bird? I couldn’t catch a glimpse of it.
Later, as I was driving into town, in a yard on the edge of Northport was a large flock of wild turkeys. That, I decided, was worth going back to see. A few hardy bird-souls were starting to cross the road, but they turned back as I pulled onto the shoulder.
|Hesitant, wondering if it's safe to cross...|
|Back to safety! How many can you see?|
|Wild turkeys make themselves at home|
It would be charming to sit in the midst of a flock of feeding wild turkeys sometime. As they relax and go back to their meal, they make sweet little sounds somewhere between chirping and mewing. Very comfortable, comforting, homey little sounds. After all, they are at home out in the snow. They are on their own home ground. I am looking forward to getting closer to my own, to learning it more intimately.