Monday, December 21, 2015

Solstice 2015

Early autumn is a lovely time of year at Frances Lake:  the fall
colors are everywhere, wildlife is on the move and the mosquitoes are
gone.  The characteristic sound of the season is the purring bleat of
migrating cranes.  They pass over in dozens and hundreds, rarely
landing here but often pausing in flight at the end of the lake to
regroup and set their next heading.

Early Autumn
Caribou are also traveling then, to their winter ranges.  I watched
the shore obsessively for weeks in September and shot a fine bull, who
will be honored at mealtimes all winter.
Last year berries were scarce, but they were abundant this year, and
very welcome to all who enjoy them — birds, bears and people.  In an
hour I picked enough cranberries around the house to make 12 pints of
But this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is fleeting.  By the
time autumn actually begins with the equinox most of the leaves are
already on the ground and we are moving into the drab transitional
time until the snow brightens the landscape again.

Winter also anticipates its season.  I think it begins when the lake
freezes over, which happened a couple of weeks ago:  until then the
open water moderates the temperature, but after that the deep cold can
begin.  My building project this year was  a woodshed —- it's good to
see the firewood split and stacked ready for any weather.
Eric at the Woodshed
Now, with the coldest days still ahead, here’s a wish for full
woodpiles, larders and freezers for everyone.