December 31, 2005

Moody

mossylog

We had more than fifty inches of snow before winter officially began, so for a while my woods were piled with white, everything muffled and quiet, even the wildlife. Then this week, warm winds whipped through, melting layers of snow. When I walked through the woods, water dripped from the trees, a constant trickle. Beneath the melting snowbanks, I could glimpse brilliant mosses and green ferns pressed tight against the ground.

My woods are nothing spectacular: no scenic vistas, no mountains to climb, no pristine wilderness. As I walk, I can see scars, marks left by other humans – old logging roads, lines of pines planted by the CCC, bits of barbed wire fences left by farmers, lines of old oak trees that once edged a farm field, the occasional fruit tree planted by someone long ago, and stumps, decaying stumps everywhere.

But every day, even though I take the same path, the woods are different. Today, the temperature had dropped, and all the melting piles of snow had frozen, the ground covered with weird grey puddles edged with curving lines of white. The ice crunched under my feet as I tramped through. I could tell the deer had been moving – tracks and scats everywhere. How much easier it is for them to find food when the thick layer of snow melts.

As I walked back to the house, it began to snow again, and the paths I had taken minutes earlier already looked different, the hemlocks holding the snow, the bark of the scotch pines turning white.

My woods change constantly. They are moody, you might say. I love that.

15 comments:

RussianViolets said...

Beautiful picture, Jo(e), and an even more beautiful post. That's my kind of terrain, and you made it come alive.

peripateticpolarbear said...

And is this post number 365? Another lovely one of course.

liz said...

Beautiful.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Gorgeous. You're really on a roll lately!

Emily said...

Another beautiful photo.

Blessings for walks in the woods in the New Year.

Rev Dr Mom said...

What they all said.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photography and your beautiful writing.

Happy New Year!

purple_kangaroo said...

I love the woods . . . beautiful photo and words.

Mieke said...

Happy New Year!

I grew up in Croton-on-Hudson. I woods just like this behind my house. I love and lived in them for much of my childhood. Here in the land of the sea I have no woods like that. It's one of the reasons I've had a itch to move. I want my boys to have woods like that in their life.

nancy said...

Spectacular! Both the words and the photo.

Scrivener said...

Happy New Year!!!

ScienceWoman said...

Wonderful description of the beauty of nature. I too love how things are subtly different every time I walk the same path.

Happy New Year. Thanks for sharing your beautiful writing.

Preacher Mom said...

Your woods look pretty spectacular to me! Thanks for sharing your photographs and your insights!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I love that too -- how a place is always different if you know it well enough. Its a particular way of seeing, isn't it?

Friday Mom said...

I love your woods...

Leslee said...

what an amazing and beautiful picture. Kind of reminds me of the woods I grew up in myself.