|Henri Rousseau. Carnival Evening|
The snow has lasted a full week with most areas still completely covered with crisp white glitter formed into a crunchy crust that collapses into powder with each step. The dogs' paws sink deep but still dont find earth, their steps making a rhythmic ca-chunk ca-chunk ca--chunk. Daylight is brilliant but not warm and the landscape is high contrast. Impossibly long icicles have formed on the tin roof edges. Well-traveled pathways are defined by transparent turquoise ice all packed down and slippery.
The night softens the grove of hardwoods and pines into a setting for mystery or myth; that place of enchantment. With snow on the ground, and a full moon, one moves in and out of spot lit openings and pools of shaded indigo. The trees are very black. The hemlocks rise above the horizon with their tips pointing at the stars. There is no sound though; usually I hear the whisper of evergreen needles or tenacious and brittle fall leaves rattling but the air was so still. I was in a trance until I heard a car approaching from the west and I waited for it. It passed above me. I watched the headlights burn first through slits in the guard rail and then through the trees until I saw the red tail lights fade away. Quiet again. I waited for I didnt know what. I heard an owl with a mighty and deep hoot; a single note repeated in some unknown pattern. It echoed back from the little canyon created by the waterfall and filled the walk with the call of the wild. Tomorrow it will rain and wash this magical snow away, and life will return to the normally scheduled winter of subtle colors with a persistent sameness of hue.