|Buried Porch Steps|
|A Sliver of Open Water|
Like a steaming bowl of soup, mist rises from the snow-saturated pastures. Outside, I'm wet from both rising mist and falling rain. My boots slop through several inches of watery slush and melting snow is pooling upon what remains.
Little by little the roof sculptures diminish into rivulets of clear water. Where the roof dumped piles of snow at the bottom of the porch steps has become an icy barrier. Grendel doesn't mind and walks across the heap. Bobo stands at the top of the starirs as if expecting me to move it out of her way.
I try. The shovel moves slush, but not the compressed ice beneath. Grabbing an ax I chop clumsily at the ice. It's no good, or rather I'm no good at the task. We'll just have to rely on melt to get rid of this particular pile.
Standing at the edge of my slushy driveway, I gaze at Elmira Pond. Open water; there it is--a sliver of open water. The first time in months, I can actually see the pond for the body of water that it is. I'm gleeful as a child watching the carnival rides go up at the fairgrounds. I know what it means.
Open water attracts migrating fowl. Snow soup brings ducks. Ringed-tails, woods, harlequins, widgeons, buffleheads, mallards and mergansers. For now, I see flocks winging north, but soon I will see them on Elmira Pond.