It's hard to believe that we are not very far from the beginning of winter -- it has already been cold and snowy here at the lake for a long time. Still, I am reminded of the words of the poet: "O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"
Will and Joanna, who enlivened things for the last couple of months, snowshoed out before the Solstice, so all is quiet here. The jaybirds still come to my whistle most days, but they are usually joined by I don't know how many shirttail relatives and the decorous raisin handout is now often a scrappy free-for-all. When they don't show up I imagine them feasting at a wolf kill somewhere nearby. The summer migrants are gone and the only new birds are ghostly white ptarmigan, blown down from the mountains, who scuttle in the snow under the willows on their big feathered feet and sail off when alarmed.
The nights are very long this time of year, but when it is clear all the stars that were hidden by the summer's midnight sun are bright, and the sky is filled with light. So many stars to wish upon!
Sending you good wishes for the New Year,