late on thursday night, well after dark and too late for dinner, i walked in my own front door after a journey across this state that lasted twelve long hours, morning to night. walter was back, thanks to my beloved friend julie, who had driven down to pick him up and take him back with her to ohio for playtime with her own EIGHT dogs. we knew the snow was coming - one look at the radar map and there was no guesswork involved. friday morning i raced around buying groceries, doing laundry, picking up mail and packages; then, right on schedule, the snow began to fall around 2pm.
this was no slow snowfall, either - fast and furious the flakes descended, turning my little world of firefly road into a blurry white landscape where everything looked as if it had been dusted with talcum powder.
just before twilight we took walter for a winding walk through six inches of snow up to the waterfall and pond. the woods were silent; they towered over the path we took, they bent down before us from the weight of all that white, they bowed, they curtsied, they waved.
i share with you an exquisite blue and white silence here - just the sound of nothing, surrounding us from everywhere into the smallest, whitest, deepest here. more trees bowing down, this time to the quiet blue water, and then, a walk back down the hill to a house that beckoned from the dark, its lights a welcome sight until they promptly went out the minute we walked through the door, five minutes after i took these shots; they didn't come back on for another twenty four hours.
candles in abundance are lovely. candles, and a gas log fireplace and a grill out on the deck for cooking breakfast and dinner, for heating water for hot chocolate and tea. i loved and will always remember hearing the sound, from deep within the house, of the tea kettle whistling brightly from outside - sweet and high and completely out of its element, a songbird singing one long high note into the snowy winter night.
saturday morning came early - all that white reflecting light into the huge windows of this house - and with it, a walk with walter through the surrounding woods along the trail behind the house. i love seeing the combination of ocracoke - its sand, its blue skies, its water and its magical tree - lying there in the mountain greenery and snow. i've named these images "snowcracoke", just because i could.
i've loved this time, newly back home, stomping down wooded trails covered in white, listening to the sounds of snow and ice crunching loudly beneath my black booted feet. the juncos are back in abundance at the feeder, the sky today was blue, blue, blue, and i felt once again like a little girl at play beneath a blue ceiling, a white carpet at her feet.
it's hard not to grin, when hopping across shadows of tree branches, when reflecting them back to the camera with my shades for sun and snow. it's all i can do to keep from breaking into a run, dear walter leaping at my side; it's all i can do to keep this three day memory from spilling out and over, everywhere.
julie was able to leave this morning, late, after ice and snow had melted just a bit. the house was far too quiet in the afternoon for walter and me, and by three o'clock we were headed to the river, just as fast as i could get there through the ice and through the snow.
these mountains, just outside my front door, have never seemed more beautiful, and it is with bittersweet regret as i watch january slowly bow out, like the snow-covered trees,with gentle grace and amazing dignity. xo