In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Colour of winter

The island has put on its seasonal colours even though we are not yet into winter's depths. My eyes are slowly adjusting to a world of grey, white, brown and green.  The island's pied and dappled beauty is subtle now.  I have to look more closely than in easier seasons to take it in. 

Grey-green lichens stipple the trees and the stone walls and the boulders. The greens of the mosses are softer shades now, tending more toward brown. Three or four kinds of ferns cover the island in summer, but now they are cinnamon against the grey stone walls.   

A birch tree stands out against the constant background of dark green spruce. Its bare branches claim close attention.  Today it receives the close attention of some little bird searching for insects. The chickadee -- if it is a chickadee--is grey and black and white, the colours of the tree. 

Emerging boulders poke their rounded forms out of the earth, ancient creatures being slowly born. You can see them more clearly now that they are not hidden in grasses and wildflowers. They are bronze and grey in a field of white.      

The sky and the sea are grey today, but that word hardly describes their variety. The sea is pewter, its waves flowing peacefully into the shore.  In an hour it will be something else entirely, though I do not know what. The Nova Scotia sky is a holy thing, high and astonishing, always changing. There is no moment when it is not worth your while to look up. This must be because the sea reflects the sky, so that even on the dullest day we live in a bowl filled with light. 

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