winter comes to us

“Last Touch of Sun” by John Henry Twachtman

On this, the shortest day of all the 365, I wander over the covered paths of the garden hillside. I wade through the drifts along the swamp edge. I walk over the snow-covered ice among the catttails. The wind is gone. The day is still. The world is decorated with unmarred snow. This is winter with winter beauty everywhere. Autumn is finally, officially, gone. Like the evening of the day, the fall has been a time of ceaseless alteration. Cold, in the autumn, is overcoming the heat just as darkness, in the evening, is overcoming the light. All around, in recent months, there have been changes in a thousand forms. The days of easy warmth were passing, then past. Birds departed. Threadbare trees lost their final leaves. Nuts fell from the branches. Pumpkins and corn turned yellow in the fields. For animals and men alike, this was the time of harvest. The phantom summer, Indian summer, came and went. The chorus of the insects died away in nightly frosts. Goldenrod tarnished; grass clumps faded from green to yellow. Milkweed pods gaped open and their winged seeds took flight. The windrows of fallen leaves withered, lost their color, merged into one universal brown. Now they are buried beneath the new and seasonal beauty of the snow. Autumn, the evening of the year, is over; winter, the night of the year, has come.
~ Edwin Way Teale
(Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist’s Year)

~ winter solstice ~
(4:47 pm eastern time zone)

21 thoughts on “winter comes to us”

  1. All of that rings so true (except still awaiting the blanket of snow). A lovely post from you, Barbara.

    Special greetings to you and Tim on the longest night of the year. Tomorrow will be fuller of light and hope.


    1. Thank you, Janet. Wishing you and Roger a new solar year bright with sunshine and all the beauty of nature our little spaceship earth provides for us. (And may that blanket of snow be soft and gentle…) ❄️hugs❄️

    1. Thank you, Jet, and many warm holiday wishes for you, my friend, as we journey around the sun once again! ☀️

  2. What a lovely description! I agree there are parts of winter than can be most welcome — the slowing down, the peaceful silence, the relief from pressure to get things done — but I have to admit, I’m more of a summer girl, ha!

    1. Winter used to be my favorite season — the mosquitoes and sticky humidity spelled summer to me — but the older I get the more sensitive I am getting to the cold. Sigh… There is so much beauty in the stillness following a snowfall, until the noisy snowplows shatter the silence!

  3. Beautiful poem and art choice Barbara – I fear this is the landscape I will see tomorrow when I look out. Sigh. On a brighter note, beginning today, December 22nd, we begin our slow crawl toward Summer, with more daylight minutes every day. How I wish it was Spring now and I did not have the worries of this bomb cyclone on my mind.

    1. Thank you, Linda! The seasons ebb and flow, like the tides and so many of nature’s cycles, and we have to move along with them no matter which ones we prefer. But I do appreciate the moderations of spring and autumn more and more the older I get. 🌷 🍁

  4. Hard freeze is gusting in from the North, punctuality as Our Chief Meteorologist, Alan Holt reported.

    “2PM THU – cold front is moving through San Antonio, moving south! 30s just behind the front…close to 0° in the Panhandle! Low 70s in the Valley.

    Expecting it in Corpus Christi around 6pm.

    Note: you may see steam fog, sometimes called sea smoke, if you’re near a bay or the gulf. The cold air riding over the milder sea surface temps (upper 50s) can create this phenomenon.”

    I did notice this steam fog Adlai called sea smoke. I thought it was the heavy sea fog that being this close to the bay brings us it seems every morning. I appreciate Alan Holts extra explanation and form of teaching to be such a wonderful edition to his journalism!

    So three days of hard freeze here. I’m triggered by the hard freeze we had this February 2022 that broke my water pipes, no power seven days. I’m reminding myself that is is just triggering my extreme anxiety condition. We humans have very little control of anything, really. And I’m still very sick with I truly don’t know what!

    Well wishes to all… as many of us seem to be coming up on the unknowns …

    1. Your weather reports are very chilling, TD!

      We often see sea smoke in these parts. But today we might be getting something I never heard of before, “sound effect snow.” You’ve probably heard of lake effect snow and this is similar, according to our local meteorologist. Cold air comes over the relatively warm waters of Long Island Sound, bringing snow to the Connecticut coastline. I keep looking out the window this morning but haven’t seen any snow yet.

      I hope you and Yorkie are keeping warm during your extended hard freeze and I’m sorry to hear that you’re still feeling unwell. Maybe it’s time for another visit to the doctor? It’s true, we don’t control much in our lives and the unfolding of events certainly keeps us on our toes…

      1. Interesting the similarities of the sea smoke.

        Did your children and grandchildren arrive well for your holiday?

        I went to bed with trigger anxiety about my water pipes breaking, only to be woken up by the electric power lines on fire dropping flames on my fence on the morning of the 24th around 5:00 a.m., resulting in no heat or power until late afternoon. One never knows what will happen!

        1. Oh no!!! It’s so true, we never know what will happen next and it’s often not what we were dreading but something else entirely. Sigh. You’ve certainly had more than your share of trouble recently. I hope things are okay now.

          Yes, they all arrived for the holiday and so far nobody has gotten sick, which is what I was very anxious about. It was a WONDERFUL visit!

  5. Thank you, Barbara. That was a lovely description of the coming of winter. Today we woke up with thermometers registering 24 degrees. The sun is brightly shining but i am not going outdoors. Don’t think i have any clothes appropriate for that kind of cold, even if it has risen to 35. Perfect for the Christmas season.

    1. Wow, Liz! 24° for Florida is amazing! I don’t blame you for staying inside. It was frigid up here for Christmas, too. Way too cold to be out there, although we bundled up and tried to take a walk with Larisa and her family. Don’t think we lasted more than 10 minutes before coming home and making hot chocolate. 🙂

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