A Walk In The Cold Woods

The cold bites at my bare face as I step over the fallen rock wall into the woods.

Ice pushes up from the frozen mud in groups of long thin crystals.  It pops up like a mushroom, pushing through the stiff leaves. The ice lifts up the shell of a hickory nut and cradles it on the tall shards as if it’s an offering.

Ahead of me, Fate and Zinnia inspect a rotting tree trunk.

They’re spending so much time sniffing all around and up and down it, I become curious.  But when I get to the tree stump, there’s nothing for me to see.  If I had their noses, I’d understand, but since I don’t and we because we speak a different language, the story is lost to me.

I walk away disappointed but determined to find my own tree stump.

Soon I squat to take a picture of the ice growing like stiff lace along the edge of the small stream.  I look up when I hear the frosty pellets of snow hitting the leaves around me.  It’s so loud, but even when I hold out my hand to watch them land on my black glove, the snow is too small to see.

I lift my bare face to the tree tops, but I can’t feel it either.

I move on and spot a flat rock about the size of a small pizza box,  jutting diagonally out of the earth so it forms a shallow cave. It’s dry under the rock and littered with empty hazelnut shells, a small circle chewed from each one.

I imagine a chipmunk safe under the ledge of the rock, eating its cache of nuts.  So I make my way to the pine cave.

It’s too cold to sit for long, but once inside, I plant my butt on the bed of pine boughs and breath in the healing scent that surrounds me.  I clear my mind and see an hourglass, complete with falling sand, inside the torso of my body.

I think about how I always feel that I don’t have enough time.  That I won’t be able to do everything I need and want to do.   And how that feeling, both, causes anxiety and pushes me to get a lot done.

Even though I’m in the woods, I’m close enough to the farm for Fanny and Lulu to hear me.  One of them lets out a long bray, calling me back to feed them.

I leave the pine cave, pulling my fingers out of my gloves and curling them into my palms to keep warm.   I watch Zinnia run over the Gulley Bridge back to the farm.  Stream water flows over half of it, the other half is covered in ice and I follow slowly behind her.

Fate is already in the pasture waiting for us.

Ice that formed on a stick that spans the small stream in the woods. I saw a dog in it.


6 thoughts on “A Walk In The Cold Woods

  1. The fallen tree in the water outlined by the snow looks very sensuous to me.
    The ice dog has a very pointy tail and face! Ha ha. So much to see in your woods. A magical place.

  2. I love the rotting tree trunk in
    the snow…great photo! If the
    dogs could only talk, they would have great stories to tell….


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