Yesterday, Clif, Liam, and I walked along Brook Trail in the woods behind the high school. Winter has finally come to Maine, and we have had snow—not so much that we can’t walk in the woods, but enough to make the ground white with blue shadows.
In the winter, the woods are so quiet. Gone are the summer songs of the birds, that exuberant burst of life. Instead, there is the crunching of our feet as we walk on the snow. A squirrel scolds us as she rushes up a tree. In the distance, we can hear a woodpecker rat-a-tat-tatting on a tree and the answering rat-a-tat-tat of another woodpecker.
I love the woods in winter, the solemn stillness, the muted colors. On the trail we take, there is a side path that leads to Brook Trail, and here the quiet of winter is interrupted by running water that now has a skim of ice.
The other day, we met an acquaintance on the trail, and she said, “I come here as often as I can. I love to keep track of the progress of the ice on the brook.”
We do, too. I wonder if the brook will run all winter. Or, will we get a good cold snap where the brook freezes entirely? Clif and I will be going back today to check on the ice, and we’ll continue do so as long as the snow isn’t too deep.
Here are some pictures from yesterday’s walk.