"You really need to go out there and see the walnut tree," Greg told me late this morning. I had been assuming otherwise: that I really didn't need to go out there for any reason. It's not that it's especially cold, and it isn't windy so there's no wind chill factor.
But the snow came down all Sunday, silent and magical and fresh. And as the day progressed I became accustomed to my hibernation. I was okay with being inside by the woodstove for the rest of the winter. I figured until spring I could get the idea pretty well by looking out the window.
Out I went, though, because it did sound too good to miss. And it was. Now, dear reader, through the magic of technology you can take a winter walk on McNutt's Island too.
The walnut tree is one of two that Elizabeth Hyde planted here many years ago. The red squirrels are the actual owners of this tree. Last fall I harvested as many walnuts as they allowed me. There were moments when we negotiated walnut to walnut. It was tense but respectful. Today snow outlines the tree's structure.
My wildlife guide says this is a bracket fungus. My wildlife guide does not tell me that in the summer fairies and elves sit on these ledges, which give them an excellent view of the harbour. But of course this time of year there are no fairies or elves to be seen anywhere. They may be small but they're not stupid.
The last picture is looking down the main road toward the north end of the island. You can see the harbour off in the distance. Trees are down across the road, and will be cleared up when the McNutt's Island road crew gets around to it. This is the road that was cut out of the forest in the late 1780s when the lighthouse was built on the southern end. I imagine it looks about the same today as it did then. The only travelers on this road today were the deer. Fallen trees do not bother them.
Okay, time for hot chocolate.