A taste of winter

Hello from Pokeberry Pines, friends! Two days ago we sat by our campfire, eating s’mores and enjoying the balmy 50-degree weather and wondering at the quiet calm of the evening. Yesterday we stocked up on staples, filled water jugs, and prepared for our first winter storm of the year. At 5 AM we woke to still quiet and dry skies, but within an hour tiny snowflakes began to swirl in the air outside our windows. Not too keen on staying indoors all day, I wandered the woods a few hours later to see what visions the dusting of snow and sleet had created…

The leaves poking through the thin layer of snow and ice created a beautiful tapestry on the forest floor.

The sleet pinged noisily as it landed on the crunchy leaves of the forest floor. Birds flitted here and there, searching for seeds. And the pine trees swayed gently with each gust of wind that came along, a foreshadowing of things to come later in the afternoon.

By the creek…early in the day…
The mosses looked magical with their capes of snow…

After several hours, the wispy snow turned to sleet and it rained ice until the early afternoon. Two or so inches of pelleted ice accumulated on our deck, grass, and driveway…

Two inches of ice accumulation – before the sleet turned to freezing rain…
The Meadow Trail was easy to see, covered with the white stuff…

The gardens seemed content to be resting, soaking up the moisture of the day. The birds have been busily feeding at the feeders and nearby – mourning doves, titmice, house finches, pine warblers, chipping sparrows, and a lone junco.

Garlic rests above the snow.

Pine cones all along our woods line rest in the snow, looking all the world like Christmas trees…

As I’m writing this, we still have power and heat, but the sleet has changed to freezing rain, and I look out my kitchen window and see the needles on the pine trees that surround our house are covered with ice, silver and shining under gray skies. The cherry tree is now covered with ice and ice droplets. Some pine branches and small trees are beginning to bend with the weight of the frozen rain. The wind is picking up, and the trees are dancing with it.

We are so grateful for this cozy home, a fireplace, and the beauty of this homestead with all its trees. As the freezing rain accumulates and the winds pick up, we will no doubt watch some trees lose branches or break in two. The roads will be treacherous, melting snow and ice now freezing on the surface. We are glad to be home and safe, watching the storm unfold around us.

I know my friends up north living with -32 degrees and six feet of snow will laugh when they read this (yes, talking to you B & H!), but I’m glad to enjoy this first winter storm and revel in its evolving beauty.

Every day here we witness magic – in the woods, on the ground, in the skies above. Whatever comes along is always welcome, as a gift, an opportunity, a lesson to learn – even an icy winter storm on a Sunday.

Hugs and peace, all!

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