There’s an old adage about the weather that we New Englanders confirm most times when March comes around. The saying goes “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. This year, March came in pretty gently here at camp, but two weeks in, the lion of March roared into action! Nearly two feet of snow fell, and as the snow rose on the ground, temperatures in the air plummeted to the single-digits. Ice in the pond creaked and groaned and our dark brown buildings looked like gingerbread houses with white frosting nearly up to the window flaps. Beautiful? Yes! Like a lamb? Not hardly!
But…the last weeks of the month are now upon us and for sure, lamb-like temperatures will melt off the snow and the first cautious wild flowers will risk coming forth. It’s time to offer a tribute to the beauty of winter and to prepare for spring!
Most of us who choose to live in snowy places love the silence of a snow-filled woods. We love the contrast of the sharp, cold blue sky against the white of the landscape. We like being able to see the dark shapes of the trees in ways we can’t do when leaves hide their structures. And of course, at camp, we love skiing over to Sangamon, skating up into the neck of the pond to check out the beaver lodge that’s there, and tracking the many paths left by the wildlife that enjoys camp for a full eight months every year when not many people interrupt their days and nights. Winter is a wonder to be appreciated!
At camp, Steve Spensley and I, along with Rosa Parks, are the most frequent visitors to camp. Steve has responsibility for off-season care of our special corner of Vermont. Parts of every week he’s tromping around, making sure that our buildings are secure against the winter wind, that the weather has not disrupted our paths with winter blow down. Rosa Parks checks out the tracks, making sure the mice are NOT moving into the lodge! Good luck on that, Rosie! Steve also uses off-season time to cut and split the wood that will warm the cabins and the lodge on chilly mornings this summer. That work is done for now and it’s impressive to see the amount of wood Steve manages. A right-minded winter tribute should include kudos to Steve for the wood and for his care of camp!
Living in a state that changes seasons four times annually is a personal delight for me. At this point in the year, I celebrate the hours I enjoyed in the winter woods while eagerly awaiting the treats that spring and summer, of course, bring to the year at 140 Betsey Cox Lane. Then, when fall paints our meadows, hillsides and woods with glorious reds, yellows and oranges, I will celebrate that as well. To you, winter—you were a fine one! And for now…welcome spring!