Posted by: highmountainmuse | October 13, 2009

No surprises

A crow flying in the snow

A crow flying in the snow

They are caught off guard. This was not in the weather forecast, they say.

We have learned to expect nothing less than surprises.

The mountain provides.

The cows were hauled off the mountain to winter pasture yesterday; a load of hay for the horses back hauled, Bob arriving home in the dark under the clear crystalline infinite pattern of stars and the blur of the Milky Way spread out above us.

This morning, the snow has come.  A good start to the winter, we say.  It will fall from the trees in sprinkles as the wind blows later in the day, and slide from the roofs in heavy loads, and the pasture will clear and even the following mud will dry all before the arrival of the next storm. 

But this one will leave its mark.  Snow will remain in the north facing slopes, hidden under the thick groves of Blue Spruce. It will cleanse the mountain.  It is her forewarning of the winter.  She means business up here. She prepares for her impenetrable fortress of cold and ice and snow. A natural apprehension arises in humans, chasing them from the mountain for fear of being snowed in for the winter. 

But the birds know better.  I hear them out there now, the crows and the Stellar Jays already awake and enjoying the relative warmth that the cloud covered sky brings.  They will wait this out.  It will pass.  They have their stashes and secret places and know this is but one more thing.  In the meanwhile, they continue on.  It is business as usual.  Life on the mountain goes on in the deep, wet and warm October snow.

As the snow comes down.

As the snow comes down.



  1. Your snow looks like a picture post card .Its still close to 80 here at mid day .Once in Oregon i think about 1965 we went to bed with just a cloudy sky .The next morning when i looked out the window i though i was seeing things .The snow was almost level with the windaw . This was in the town not on the ranch .It was as i under stand the first time it had ever snowed that much anytime let alone over night .Everyone was in a panick . The car was in the garage & the wood shed was full . We just kicked back and watch the one tv station still on the air .You stay warm and look out your window . Take a day off .Im shure you have a lot of work ahead getting ready for real winter

  2. I see a future for you doing an esoteric weather forcasting show over the Internet. What a wonderful way you have with describing what’s going on in your neck of the woods

  3. Thanks, Marc! I like to think of the big windows here in my cabin as my wide screen TV. All I need to look at, and for the most part, all the news I need to know, it’s all right there before me. Don’t know if readers get bored by that, I hope not too much, but I don’t. Forever changing, you know, always beautiful, fascinating, mysterioius.

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