I can't think of a single time in the fifteen years I've lived here that I could walk on bare ground the first weekend of February, or, for that matter, the first weekend of March, and only a handful of first weekends of April.
A warm, wet storm swept through last week, snapping trees off at their ankles, tearing the sugar shack off its (admittedly precarious) foundations, and washing away the last of the snow that hadn't melted into fog the day before. Here's the river we walked on last weekend:
I can't help but wonder about what it all means for those things sleeping underground now––the roots and the salamanders and the bugs. Will my garlic make it? (I mulched it, but the leaves blew away). Will the deep freeze set back the ticks for a season?
After the storm blew through, the cold came back. The boys went off ice-fishing for the day Saturday (this is the compensation for being completely outnumbered––they can go off doing manly things and leave me to my own devices). I spent the day, as you can imagine, reveling in the quiet––reading in the bathtub and writing (not in the bathtub) and eating guacamole (ditto). I took myself out for a walk and played with the manual focus setting on my camera to try and get super-close close-ups:
Sunday I braved C's friend and got as close as I dared to his spiny self:
And then we did the only thing you can do during a snowless February––we went ice skating.
We walked through the woods to a pond next to our neighbor's house, realizing we had never skated on it before. This was the first time we had the right combination of weather, courage and skates that fit everyone to skate as a family.
E and Z tried their skates out for the first time the day before, on the ice-fishing lake.
And by Sunday, they had it down,
C and M whipped around the pond,
While I hobbled around on an old pair of figure skates at least one size too small (after I put down the camera).
Later the boys went home to watch Ninjago while C and I walked down to see if the river had frozen back up yet––it hadn't, but it had formed some cool ice sculptures which we had fun smashing.
I was thinking of going out to get myself a new pair of skates, to enjoy this weird February, but it looks like snow in the forecast.