The Still Cold of January

The merry hubbub of December is over, and, as always, I am sorry to see it end. Somehow, all the holiday preparations and bustle brighten this darkest month of the year.

Yet January in Maine has its consolations. Yes, it is one of the coldest months, but it is also one of the most beautiful, alternating between snowy days and then days so still, bright and blueΒ  you can hardly stand the glory.

Wednesday was a bright and blue kind of day, and as I was out doing errands—mailing a book, stopping at the library, going to the grocery store—I brought my wee camera along. I knew I would find plenty to photograph.

I am a sucker for dried or wizened fruit on a bare tree, and I took this picture at the town’s Credit Union.

At the Post Office, I saw cattails, spikes of exploded fluff, by the railroad tracks.

Across the road from the post office, on Maranacook Lake, little shacks have been set up for ice fishing, and they have been clustered into a charming, impromptu village.

Then it was on to the public beach, just around the corner.Β  So lovely, empty, and melancholy.

But on the ice, there were more shacks to brighten the mood.

And onward we head, toward the full moon of January, the Wolf Moon.

46 thoughts on “The Still Cold of January”

  1. Nice pics, Laurie. The public beach one could be titled, “Waiting” … for warmer weather and people to make the scene come alive. Winter is all about dormancy of various kinds, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

  2. I love the look of the fishing shacks, though at least one of them resembles a repurposed port-a-potty. I’m sure it would look different in person! We’ve had snowbirds feeding in the courtyard lately and I want to try to get some pictures of them. Your cat-tails catch the light in a lovely way. Unlike Dina, I don’t envy you your winter! Off to make sure you’re showing up in my reader stream! Just ordered the book!

  3. A lovely ode to Maine’s winter. So different from my life here in S. CA. I still have leaves falling from huge Sycamore and Walnut and trees full of oranges and lemons… but I love seeing the purity and stark beauty of your snowy world! Your photos are wonderful.

      1. I would love to mail you some…we share with family and friends in PA and D.C.! How do I do this?β€πŸ˜„

  4. Winter is certainly more enjoyable when you get a day like that. I like the little ice shacks but doubt that I would have the patience to sit in one for any length of time.

  5. Lovely winter photos Laura, there is a beauty about winter, especially when the skies are blue. I love the fishing shacks .. surely a fisherman would freeze to death in there.

  6. Beautiful post and photographs, Laurie. Love the winter ‘fishing villages’ we all see around the state. Right now, St. George is a cluster of home-made and colorful ice shanties. Went out last week and our bunch caught a couple of nice salmon. Such beauty and opportunity to embrace the outdoors here in our beautiful state of Maine! Happy New year!

  7. I love that first photo! We’ve seen very little sun here and that makes me sad–sunshine goes a long day toward making winter enjoyable for me. We live on a lake and the ice fishermen have been out there, right off shore–it feels like they are almost in the living room. Very few here use shacks–they just brave the cold.

  8. Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures, Laurie. My impression is that you Maine-landers get a lot of snow. Am I right? Your winter seems as snowy and cold as parts of Canada. (And don’t tell me “Yes, but it’s a dry cold, not damp like yours…” haha)

    1. We do indeed have a lot of cold weather and snow. If you look at a map of North America, you will see that much of Maine is tucked into Canada. More than once, I have wished we were a part of Canada. As for the quality of our cold…damp by the coast, drier inland.

  9. You live in a beautiful part of this country. I’m glad you’re enjoying clear, crisp days between snow storms and how special to see these sites amid your mundane errands. Thanks for sharing your perspectives with all of us. Happy New Year!

  10. Lovely photos and I always enjoy seeing the little shacks for ice fishing!πŸ™‚ We are still having quite a few mild days and they haven’t been able to get out on the ice very often so far this season.

  11. How beautifully you describe January in your neck of the woods. I could really imagine it. Super photographs too. I wonder how February will shape up weather-wise! Stay warm, keep writing and sharing.

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