January

With mornings of frost-feathered trees seen through ice-etched window panes, the bitter cold of January days drives me indoors to the warmth of the wood stove. By the back door sunlight flashes from the icicle that hangs above the rain barrel. Flocks of starlings gather in the hackberry tree to feed on the remaining berries, and crows search the frozen cornfields for anything they may have over looked in times of greater abundance.
Beneath the bird feeder, the tracks of juncos and chickadees, like cuinform writing on the snow covered ground, are thank you notes for a handful of seeds.
In the woodland garden the black berry clusters of false Solomon’s seal nod above the snow-covered ground, and the bright red fruit of jack-in-the-pulpit reward field mice for dispersing their seeds.
Yet in this seeming lifelessness of the frozen world there are signs of new life. The buds of oak and maple are begining to swell, and in the herb garden, under the snow, the large and waxy white flowers of white hellebore are begining to open.
As the lengthening days of January draw to a close, with melancholy sunsets that vare reflected on the glazed surface of the snow, I enjoy the warmth and comfort of the house. The strange perfume of the paper-white narcissus blooming on the window sill mingles with the scent of wood smoke, hinting at the myriad of flowers that even now beneath the frozen crust of earth are beginning to stir.

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One thought on “January

  1. Happy new year to you! Apologies that you had to post your cheery wishes on an old post of mine. I just made reservations for an event in June and it is distinctly non-January-like here right now. So perhaps this will be a quick winter for me. Hope 2012 is being good to you so far.

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