Yesterday, on February 1, a light snow fell softly until about noon. In the backyard, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice clustered at the feeders. A downy woodpecker tapped at the diminishing suet—I need to buy more next week. Later a red bellied woodpecker came to the brown feeder. They are recent arrivals to central Maine, and it still surprises me to see one in the backyard.
With some trees bare and other trees dark green against the snow, the woods stand at the edge of the yard. The landscape seems so quiet, so still. I have always found January and February in Maine to be soothing. This year is no different, and I need it more than ever.
I also need the company of like-minded friends—tea with Paul and Judy this afternoon. On Sunday, brunch with Beth and John. Clif will make his delectable waffles, right at the table, and the waffles will be served piping hot with plenty of butter and real maple syrup to put on top. On Monday, a visit with Esther after I drop off two copies of Maya and the Book of Everything at the Vassalboro Public Library—one for the library and one for the director.
Today, the sun is shining, making the snow on the trees look white and fluffy, almost like frosting. So beautiful, which is one of the reasons why I love winter even though I don’t play outside anymore.
Despite the sun, it was very cold this morning—below 60° inside– and it was hard to get out of bed. The fire in the wood furnace didn’t hold through the night, and when I looked at the thermometer outside the dining room window, I could see why. Two degrees above zero, but fortunately—to borrow from that great outdoorsman Dick Proenneke—it was dead calm.
Clif went downstairs to get the fire started. On went the gas heaters, and on the stove, a kettle of water began to steam. Soon there would be tea and toast made from homemade bread, and the best simple pleasure of all, a sweet orange to go with breakfast.
Despite the clamor of the outside world, life at the little house in the big woods continues to be good.