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.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Signs of spring in winter's depths

A spell of bitter cold began the day after Groundhog Day and continued until last night. Every branch, every twig, every stone, every upturned pail and rotting log was ice-coated, and dazzling. Then overnight the air warmed. On this Sunday morning snow and ice are melting into slush.

Even in the cold spell, though, there were signs of spring. An aspen along the lower road had begun to bud. Yesterday a woolly bear caterpillar made its way slowly across a vast ice field. Even in winter's depths the days continue to grow longer, almost imperceptibly, and almost imperceptibly, the world responds.

For two straight nights the moon waxed gibbous in a clear sky. Bright moonlight made the stars fade, except for Venus glowing steadily in the western sky. She is undeterred by the moon's radiance. The moon shone on gnarled branches of old apple trees and cast gnarled black shadows against sparkling white ice. The island was coated with a smooth crust of ice that glittered in the cold moonlight. I stood on the lower road awed by silence. And from somewhere in the skeleton forest, the great horned owl hoo-hoo-hoo-hooed.

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