February 20, 2010

A Hint of Winter's End

Today was one of those late winter days that point toward spring: the temperature was in the upper 30s, with a brisk wind that did not have the bitter edge of cold, but brought a smell of growth. As I walked on the snow, not needing snowshoes with the thinner layer, I felt its wetness underfoot. Snow is receding from boulders, revealing surfaces covered with mosses.

A sight I associate with maple sugaring season with its warm days and frosty nights is the circle of sunken snow surrounding tree trunks, their warmth pushing back the snow. Soon the ground will begin to show and form a brown skirt around each tree.

Small branches, seeds, pine needles, begin to sink into the snow, nestled into a perfectly shaped bed echoing each form. All these images of late winter, so heartening, will likely be hidden by coming snowstorms; winter is still far from over in northern Vermont.

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