Quiet Times in the Woods

It was nice yesterday to wake up to a fresh dusting of snow on the rooftops, and once again covering the Canadian hills across from us. The previous days had been warmer, into the low forties, and had melted the little snow we'd had. As I drove to town, I also saw that the warm-up had re-opened the two lakes previously skimmed with ice. No longer were Little Iron and Swamper capped and smooth. It seemed strange to see the wind lapping small waves on them. It won't be long, however, until they have ice that will stay for the winter.

The snow, though it is less than a half-inch, helped put me in the mood for the day's task: More work on our annual Winter Tracks Festival. This is the fourth year of the festival, and we are busy planning for all of the activities and events that celebrate the fun of snow and cold. Last year's festival was a great mix of skiing, snowshoeing, ice-fishing, snowmobiling, and other traditional winter sports. We added to that lots of great snow sculptures, winter pizza at the bread oven, and some ice fishing and snowmobile opportunities. At the last minute, we had a wonderful snowstorm that brought us just what we needed---several inches of fresh, fluffy snow. Unfortunately, it also made travel poor for some folks, so they were not able to make it all the way up here. Still, it was a great weekend, and one that I would highly recommend. I am busy working on the brochure and the website changes. It should be updated within the next couple of weeks. When it is, I'll put a link here so you can check it out.

And here we are, less than a week away from Thanksgiving. The time flies for all of us, doesn't it? We will be celebrating here, with dinner at Sharlene's. Jim will be back from Alaska, and other family members will be joining us. On Friday we will again be dipping candles. That is our "Day after Thanksgiving" tradition, and it is always a wonderful time with friends joining in. The smell of beeswax will linger in the air, and I've come to associate that with this holiday.

The animals have been very quiet, at least in my realm. We saw a moose on the way to church last Sunday, but that's it for large animals. We've not seen any deer. The most of the activity remains around the bird feeder. Some pine grosbeaks have shown up, and their lovely rosy feathers add a nice touch to the other colors that I see among the birds. A goldfinch also came by recently. He hadn't yet lost his bright yellow summer colors, so I had to look twice to see what it was. Most of the time, we only see the goldfinches in their winter drab. In the summer, they find new places to be, so I miss out on the yellow stage. For years, I didn't really watch the birds much. I'm still amazed at all that I was missing, for it is an active and entertaining sight.