|End of February 2013|
|End of January 2014|
This year it is a brown Elmira, as if the land were wearing frozen gunny sacks. The ground is hard, exposed and dry. The ice seems to be shrinking at the edges of the pond before it even begins to melt. Brown feels parched and unusual. Storms seem to catch a northern wind and skirt past our valley.
Something white bobs in the brown grass on the edge of pines north of our back pasture. The dogs bark at the window and I squint until realizing that the white is attached to a strutting deer. She is just as mottled gray and brown as the land, and all I could see was her tail that moved like a levitating male turkey in full feathered regalia. Its so brown I can't see deer.
When the huskies visited this weekend, Ilya convinced Drew to play jolly-ball-fetch. The hot pink ball contrasts brightly with the brown landscape, easy for Ilya to see. Good thing we didn't choose a brown ball. After several running romps of fetch, Drew plucked Ilya's coat as huskies shed clumps of undercoat. Tufts of creamy Ilya hair floated away, perhaps future nest materials for the birds.
Who knows if it will be a dry spring? Rain could help make up for the lack of winter moisture, but a brown winter is not promising. In the west, cattle ranchers and wildlife both suffer in droughts and forests can turn into dry kindling. I'm holding out for the hope of more snow and a wet, wet spring.