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Category Archives: winter

Spring Peepers in Connecticut – on March 1st.


Tonight for the first time we heard the spring peepers in Westbrook, Connecticut.  This is about seven weeks before what would be normal in the Catskills; my guess is that it’s at least four weeks before normal for this area.  Birds are returning as well.  The animals may be wrong, but nature seems to be […]

April Snowfall.


We returned to the cabin and found spring just beginning in the mountains.  Down in the Rondout Valley the hepatica (H. acutiloba) bloomed March 30; the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) the following day; April 2nd saw spring-beauty (Claytonia carolina) bloom on Wildcat Mountain.  And then on April 3rd the snow came, in the middle of the […]

Winter Approaches.


Many people in the Catskills dread the winter, but I do not. I get to work outdoors at the nursery from spring until the arrival of winter, and even when I am not working there I am often gardening at my cabin or hiking in the mountains. The result is eight good months of constant […]

Cherry Birch.


Speaking of “you are what you stack,” I was doing my usual winter work of splitting wood and I couldn’t help but admire this stick of cherry birch, Betula lenta.  This birch was known as “mahogany birch” for its beauty as a furniture wood, which you can see in this picture (look at the lovely […]

The Hunter.


I love how the snow of winter produces, like a court reporter, a continual transcript of all the events that take place on the ground.  I wouldn’t have known the property was visited continually by a bobcat two winters ago, or that there was a bear to track, were it not for the snow that […]

Ownership and Strangerhood.


I walked back home from town through the woods two days ago, taking a route I had never taken before.  As I came to my own property, clothed in the strangeness of the winter woods, it seemed so weird to me that I “owned” this place – that on some map somewhere it was known […]

Life on Snowshoes.


As I was sawing wood yesterday after work, I noticed that one of the bark bins I use to gather mulch for my garden was now a good four inches out of the snow.  It had been covered up to its edge just a few days before.  While we hadn’t had very much of a […]

What Is Written in the Stars.


We’ve had a cold spell recently, and it’s been below zero every night.  During the work-week I experience the cold rather fully: not only because I work a great deal outdoors, but because with my small stove my house is cold when I am away.  I came back from the city late Monday night, and […]

Rotting Hemlock.


You Know It’s Cold When…


You know it’s cold inside your cabin when you grab your shoes in the morning to go off to work, and they won’t come up – because they’ve frozen to the floor overnight.  And it was a lot colder outside the cabin.