Sunday, December 15, 2013

Warmer Than It Was

Bobo by the Fire
Hoar Frost
High in the Sky, A Patch of Blue
Blue Reflection in Driveway Pools
Mushy Pond
Southern Horizon
Bobo snuggles into her dog bed spread out before the wood stove. All that matters to the dog is a toasty bed as she sleeps sound as a stuffed teddy-bear. And wood heat is sufficient for that purpose.

But it is warmer than it was. Much warmer now that the early arctic front has lifted and the snow has ceased falling. It feels like a "cease fire" in the cold war that winter wages upon the land.

Hoar frost is the frozen dew that gathers ice crystals on pine needles. You can see the visible line on the mountain tops where dew becomes ice because the trees at that elevation are all dressed in white.

High above the rank of hoar frost, above the thick steel-wool of lingering clouds, blue sky shines through as brilliant as a stained glass window in a stone church. It feels reverent, a call to worship.

The patch of sky is so blue that it pools blue reflections upon the melting driveway. Two days ago, the snow hid all the blacktop and grass. The air warmed up so much that yesterday that it rained. Now patches of blue sky and brown grass smudge color where only white and gray had been.

Even Elmira Pond is looking mushy, its white frosting is thinning. Unlike the sky, though, no water pools. Without open water, the pond is passed over as a resting spot while 20 miles south of here Lake Pend Oreille receives hoards of wintering ducks and mergansers. That bigger body of water yet has open pools as shore-ice builds up in piles. Despite the warm spell, the pond remains closed.

The longest day of the year is nearing and the sun still skirts the southern horizon, refusing to stand tall at full zenith. The clouds have a silver lining to the south and I ponder what that means, what is our silver lining? A reprieve from the harsh cold? A melting driveway instead of one buried in drifts? These are things I can be grateful for today.

It is warmer than it was, but I crave the fire as much as the dog, knowing winter has only begun.


  1. Hello relative. My sister, Melinda Mills Bradshaw tells me that Todd and I are long lost cousins. I am Gordon's son. David G. Mills

    Send me an email at if you would like to touch base. Our brother lives in Bozeman and has for about the last 20 years.

    1. So good to reconnect with you David! Todd was thrilled to get your email. Where is your blog?

  2. I feel that reverent call to worship. Beautiful word painting.