Thursday, January 11, 2007
Colder Weather, Colder Thoughts
Note: Go outside after sunset tonight and look into the west. Just above the horizon you should see Comet McNaughten!
Note2: After 1.5 days of snowmaking, Roundtop will open today again at 4 p.m.
Colder weather has returned to the mountain! It almost feels like winter again, though the temperature is still more in the mid-February range of winter temperatures than those of mid-January. Still, it’s quite an improvement.
The ground feels hard again, not muddy. Dog and I walked in the woods before dawn this morning, over to the new pond, which sat calm as glass, reflecting the stars of the night sky in its watery mirror.
I think trees, even leafless trees to some extent, must muffle the sounds of the non-forested world that surrounds the northwestern side of my little refuge. When I am out of the forest and in the open space created by the new pond, I hear more sounds from the nearest public road and the houses along it than I otherwise do. This morning, out at the pond’s edge, I heard a distant dog barking, to which Dog felt compelled to answer in kind. I heard a car door slam, heard a car out on the road. In a way, it’s a little startling, to be sitting at the edge of pond, surrounded by woods on all sides and suddenly hear sounds from beyond the forest’s edge.
These sounds encroach this deep into my world only in winter, when no leaves muffle their sound. I am not so naïve as to think that I or anyone can stop the towns from expanding anymore than I think I can stop people from cutting down the forests around me. Sometimes I wonder how much longer the forest here has left? Fifty years? 100? Less? I have no idea.
Sometimes I feel like one of the last dinosaurs, when the world around is already favoring those upstart mammals. I can still separate myself from much of the clatter and bustle, but it is still there, encroaching on the woods, encroaching on the silence, acre by acre, foot by foot.