Embracing single digits

Grouse are cool!

COLD SNAP! People love to talk about the weather, and news of record-breaking frigid air coming from Canada has thankfully pushed politics aside. Unlike the recent ice, wind, and multiple days without power, the much-talked-about cold snap has created a frenzy that is almost like joy as people vibrate with anticipation. There were no long lines at the market, the battery shelves remained stocked. I easily found a parking space at Hannaford. Power outages may be a threat, but not many are talking about it, and I do not want to either.

Cold, without wind and wet, is just, well, COLD. You inhale and your nostril hairs freeze. It feels crisp, I rather like it. You can prepare for power outages in many ways, cold, not really. Our Maine cold, while it can be life-threatening for some, can also be an invitation to explore. I have never turned that invite down.

Along with cold we have snow. Maybe not a lot, but it is white ground cover and one of many reasons I will never move to Florida. It is also the best animal tracking I have seen in several years. It looks like Grand Central Station out there. So many visitors have left their tracks. 

Two days of frigid cold, it is dry, and tracks are clear. I bundle up in my vintage one-piece snow suit (do not understand why everyone does not have one, available on eBay, less than $30.00  US and you will be invincible!) and spend a few hours in the sun and snow, and  3ªF temp.

I will follow most tracks for a bit, but love to follow otter tracks. I sometimes see otters, but that is just a bonus. I like it when they bounce after me and seem to want to play, but feel a bit intrusive when they chatter and hiss. Today in single-digit temps I did not see otter, but what a medley of activity. In less than an hour of walking, I saw tracks of vole, mice, coyote, deer, grouse, crow, squirrel, grouse, and maybe a red fox. The grouse wandered off trail to leave scat. It was a peaceful walk, no blood, no sign of predation and death, though that is just part of the cycle.

Sometimes these signs can be hard to interpret.If you want info on what the tracks you see are, many area non-profits generously offer workshops. Go to one, meet cool people, and embrace the cold. Stay in and stay warm, or, bundle up, and get outside. Be smart and safe, and a world of wonder is waiting. Listen to the crunch of your feet in the snow, how cool is that! No electric power is terrifying. Cold is natural, not to be feared, but to be loved. 

I look behind and see only one set of prints where once there were two. I lived with a fellow cold-lover for decades. But I am not alone, he has not left me. Energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed. Dennis’ energy surrounds every step I take. Happy Birthday, D! I made parsnips tonight for you. Love, always.


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