Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

STORM END

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Long shadows lie across fresh snow. If you look closely you can see them stretching out as the sun moves slowly down behind the trees on its way to setting. Its as if they are reaching out to touch the tracks left behind by wandering deer. Its as if they want to erase the imperfections on the surface by hiding them in lines of grey.

Last night the moon lit up the dark sky as if it was dawn. Folklore says wolves are hungriest in late January, which is why their howling sounds so sad. That’s how the first full moon of the New Year came to be called The Wolf Moon.

The squalls are over now. From out of the bush birds sprint in irregular flight patterns. Their fast is over. Finches, Juncos, Chickadees and Nuthatches swarm the feeders. They peck and dart at each other with a ferocity that suggests they are frantic that the seeds will run out. This break in the weather is a chance for them to fuel-up, to store the energy they need to keep them alive through the cold nights. A pair of Cardinals waits patiently in the tree watching for a break in the ongoing melee. Their colour gives them a certain distinction, but the others are not impressed.

Snow crunches under foot. It is cold. Ice has taken over the river’s surface all the way down to the harbour mouth. Usually brown, the Saugeen’s water is now a solid white. Solid enough, at least, to support some animal that left its tracks crossing from one bank to the other. There is ice floating in the still open water of the lake. Far out towards the horizon, drifting on the wind, you would think small icebergs are heading for shore. But, the shore is a line of peaks and valleys now. Incoming surf freezes and builds on the pack ice, creating a miniature mountain range of ice on the once sandy beach.

Rising wood smoke hangs in the crisp air. Breathe in and the scent of cedar makes you smile. The sound of the snow plough sweeps through the stillness of the day. Snow blowers churn, spin, scrape, swallow and spit out wide arcs of what clogged the driveways for the last four days. Their sounds belong to this time of year but seem so out of place with the portrait I’ve been looking at.

Winter’s touch is everywhere, on everything and contradictory at the best of times.


Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

January 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

One Response

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  1. I visit your blog often for my periodic “fixes” of Southampton. These winter photographs are especially familiar of winters in my past. Keep up the blogging. I am sure many others appreciate it as I do!

    Mike Lee

    Mike Lee

    February 15, 2010 at 3:04 PM


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