Saturday, December 22, 2012. The second day of winter. I meant to write something yesterday, to celebrate winter solstice, but I exhausted myself out in the woods being The Balsamean, celebrating for real, not just on paper. Er … I mean, in pixels. (That’s trite, isn’t it?)
If ever I lose the ability to walk in the woods as much as I do, maybe I would use the time to write a book (about what, I have no idea). Unfortunately, most of my best inspiration arises while walking in the woods, the flow of creativity juices increasing proportionate to the time spent walking. No walking, no writing.
Here on the second day of Winter 2012-13, finally we have some genuine winter weather. On our morning walk, we had a beautiful 25 degrees and steadily falling snow, adding to the half-melted and re-frozen crunch-bed of snow underfoot.
Viewed from the window in front of me as I scribble, the snow is not falling so much as driven horizontally by strong winds roaring in from the west. Deep in the woods, where the wind lives mainly in the treetops, the snow floated peacefully down to me during our morning walk. (By the way, proper making of scribblements at Balsamea is with a window in front of you, if not outdoors.)
This morning, in addition to meandering through some passes and paths, Buddy took me on our usual walk around Balsamea’s perimeter trails. He tends to want to go clockwise, beginning on Balsamea Way, to the west terminus of Stumpy Way, then Stumpy to the northeast half of Kiefer Loop, then across the east side of Beech Loop, around the southeast corner of Birdsong Loop, and back to the house via Whitetail Way. Today we also ambled through part of Aranyaka Maze. We walked about half of the entire trail network.
I cleaned yesterday’s crusty, icy accumulation off all the fireplace and woodpile covers. This is a routine activity on every walk after snow. We have large rock fireplaces (that’s large fireplaces made with large rocks) at five locations: Camp Balsamea, Turkeyfoot, Tettegouche, Silviden and Kieferhaven. This year I made permanent covers for the fireplaces, to keep snow and ice out of them (I use all of them year-round).