Snow Falling from Trees Awakens

560 words, 18-sec. video, 2 photos

After half a foot of sticky, soggy snowfall overnight, today the temperature at Balsamea rose well above freezing.  Along our trails, rapidly thawing snow showered from the trees everywhere in these dense woods, especially from the pines and firs, those bearers of great snow-loads.

Click pix for full size images

It fell in droplets, spoonfuls, cupfuls, bucketfuls and barrowfuls. The still, windless air said nothing while each of these sizes played their particular sounds, all around me patting, drumming, shushing and thumping their way through tree limbs, branches, twigs and evergreen boughs, then concluding each phrase with a strike on the snow on the ground.  They formed an unusual percussive symphony unique to this particular circumstance, in a special variation playing upon atypical conditions in the fresh snow cover.

When or where can you hear nature using trees and snow as instruments to drench the still air in sound this way, with a variety of visual effects, too?  When do you get to sit in the middle of the orchestra as it plays?  It filled the air within a great dome surrounding me, simultaneously at every volume possible to my ears.  Some notes played a few feet from me, ranging out to ones played barely within hearing.  Some struck funny notes on my ball cap and shoulders.
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Good Again and Again

Human minds cling to negatives more than positives.  This helps us prepare for the next time a negative comes around, and lets us experience a positive anew again, unprepared for the pleasure.

Every year I marvel as in childhood, uplifted a little out of myself, as if it were my first time walking in the woods at night during the first accumulating snow of the season.

Celebrating Ice Storm Tree Arcs at Balsamea

ARC: a part of the circumference of a circle or other curve
… and sometimes much more than that, or inspiring it

The ice storm of December 21-23, 2013 bent many trees at Balsamea.  Here are some examples, and thoughts about trees …

This clip from the top of a poplar tree is one of my favorites.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s the sky.

Ice-Storm-Arcs-00-Poplar-20131224

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

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Balsamea Pregnant with Icicles

Many things are iciclable.  That’s eye-sick-la-bull.  Able to have icicles.  Here are some odd ones, and some traditional ones, from the perspective of a Balsamean.

Car Antenna Icicle 20121223

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To Build a Fire

When in doubt, have a campfire.  It has straightened my bent condition many times.

Balsamea Campfire 200512

Yours truly tending a winter campfire at Balsamea in 2005

My favorite passage from the 1908 short story, To Build a Fire by Jack London (1876-1916):

“Working carefully from a small beginning, he soon had a roaring fire, over which he thawed the ice from his face and in the protection of which he ate his biscuits. For the moment the cold of space was outwitted. The dog took satisfaction in the fire, stretching out close enough for warmth and far enough away to escape being singed. When the man was finished, he filled his pipe and took his comfortable time over a smoke. Then he pulled on his mittens, settled the ear flaps of his cap firmly about his ears, and took the creek trail up the left fork.”     Continue reading

Last of the Snow Tracks

On April 14, 2013, during those last days we still had snow at Balsamea, slushy places offered ideal conditions for some kinds of animal prints. What animal made this one?

Maybe this will help:

A word about Balsamea’s snowshoe paths

Actually, it’s around 1058 words.

Originally I intended to let the snowshoe path pictures in my previous blog post speak for themselves.  Today, Pyrrhite’s comment on that post got me wondering about what makes Balsamea’s snowshoe paths so attractive to me that I popped off more than 200 snapshots hoping to get lucky in the handful I found worth posting here.

In pithy Pyrrhite style, I read, “I love snowshoe trails. Nothing much is quite as compelling.”  Why are they so compelling?  Okay, Py, you pulled the cord to muse up a scribblement.  Let’s see if I have the gas to shoot through it quickly, because I am supposed to be doing something else.  I may be a scribblement addict, and you an enabler.

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Balsamea Winter: daily walking snowshoe paths

These photos from March 26, 2013 are samples of Balsamea’s snowshoeing paths just before the big thaw.  This is a taste of the blessing of Balsamea that Buddy and I walk through three times every day, all year, in all weather, day and night, without fail.

20130326-Snow-Paths-10

20130326-Snow-Paths-02In many places the snow is still as much as 18 inches deep (hole to the left), placing the floor of the path (right) at about one foot above the ground.  That is very densely packed snow, from months of accumulations and walking on it.  Usually it begins turning to treacherous ice this time of year, and I rely on strap-on ice cleats.  So far icing has not happened.  It seems we will have a short ice spell, if any.

If my Uncle Jimmy were here, he would say, “Eat your heart out.”

Click any picture to see large views in carousel mode.

Ice Revisited

The trouble with being active in the blogosphere is that there are so many people sharing so many terrific things, and they come sailing to me automatically (where I have subscribed, filtering the world to my taste).  It’s like having a global museum, athenaeum, and entertainment center at my fingertips.  I have added this “related article” to my recent post on Ice because it … well, see for yourself:

bubbles-in-ice-thumbLetting Go (blog post at myeverydayphotos.wordpress.com) is the work of a great eye for the magical display of spring nudging its way past winter at the extreme edge of the edge of a lake.  These are not merely “everyday photos” (as indicated in the blog’s title).  They are the eye of someone deeply attentive to nature every day.

Clap if you agree.  But only if you also do the same at MyEveryDayPhotos‘ corner of the web.  Okay?

Ice

I won’t pretend that it measures up to what inspired it, but this post was inspired by And More Ice at naturesnippets; Introduction to the Wonders of Nature, a blog that lives its name, by a southern Illinois nature lover (I’ll call her Deecee, taken from a hint in her profile) whose About page humbly describes someone who lives her love and shares it as a living testament to nature’s love for us.

Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Toll House in winter snow storm.  The highway beyond the toll is closed in the winter.
(Click for the BIG view.)

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Deecee’s And More Ice instantly reminded me of this old ice picture (below) from April 2005, shot at a little beaver pond near the Toll House on the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Wilmington, NY.  Before Balsamea, I lived a few miles downhill from this pond for five years.  Lucky me.

Ice 01 200504 Whtfc Toll Reflection

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