Soooo quietly, the snowflakes drifted down around and over us, frosting the trees and our parkas.
What better term to describe the woods than “winter wonderland?”
The weather website has prepared us, forecasting several inches of the white stuff during the day. The red sunrise also foretold the coming storm. (“Red sun in morning, sailors take warning . . .”)
We’d bundled against the single-digit temperatures for an afternoon hike – and never regretted our frigid outing. The fluffy snow squeaked under our boots, and the flakes spotted our glasses. If we listened intently, we could hear a slight hiss as the flakes floated through the dead oak leaves and twigs above us.
The day’s flurries had mostly covered the tracks in last week’s snow, but we could still deer trails, and the paths left by the grandkids trying out their sleds and Christmas snowboard. Old tire tracks down the woods road had packed into ice, which turned slippery with the new snow layer on top.
We watched intently for the track-makers – but the best we could do was a lone red-headed woodpecker, which chattered impatiently as it probed a dead snag in search of a grub for a bedtime snack.
Back at our warm house, our resident pair of bluebirds shared sunflower hearts with the nuthatches and juncos. Several goldfinches discovered the luxury of a steam bath, as they took turns perching on a warm rock in the middle of our heated birdbath.
Dusk came early to our neighborhood, with no let-up in the snow predicted until later in the evening. The silent, wintery night swallowed up farms and woods and roads. What a privilege to live in a wonderland . . .
Happy New Year!