The snow that fell the other evening has had the effect of making me feel, at least temporarily, even more isolated, although it did remarkable things to further beautify the woods around me.
(I feel sort of dumb posting another woods picture, since I now that to you the must appear more or less the same, and I sort of imagine that now, as I post yet another picture of the snowy woods that you’re scrolling by them faster and faster, thinking “YES. I get it. Woods. Trees. Snow. MOVE ON.” but I just can’t help it. To me, up here with these woods as the defining feature of the whole experience, the changes from one day to the next are huge. To me, the woods look very different with more snow in them. Remarkably different enough to take endless pictures of them and post them here. Bear with me. I’m charmed.
The snow covered all the deer track, leaving me unable to journey into the woods until they re-establish their meandering routes, and covered the path that I had been pounding out for myself, should I need to escape in the night. (I’ve decided that the real source of my anxiety out here is not the woods, but the deadly combination of being a person possessed of a bad ass imagination and the woods. A slightly less inventive person would be way, way more comfortable.) I’m uncertain about what would provoke me to attempt to escape into the night, but I felt good about having my options open, and for a while there, they were closed.
The snow landed, heavy, soft and white and by morning when I ventured out, there wasn’t a single surface that wasn’t blanketed. Then the sun came out, and the dark, sloped metal roof of this place started to do (rather unexpectedly, if you are me and didn’t give a moments thought to the function of a dark, sloped metal roof) what that sort of roof is supposed to do, and that is to shed snow. The roof heats up (even in the cold) enough that when the sun comes out the snow all slides right off the thing. In chunks, in pieces, in great huge slides. It pokes itself over the edges, then when enough mass is hanging over, thwumps to the ground in grand crashes.
The first chunk falling off creates instability in the rest, which then goes too, and within about 10 minutes the massive roof had shed about 90% off it’s thick layer of snow. The remaining 10% clings on tenaciously, then leaps off when it sees you are at your most relaxed, or – in one rather stunning and well targeted shot by the roof, onto my head as I passed under it to the door. (Remember when you’re a kid and you’re at school and one of your buddies (or someone who isn’t your buddy at all, but is simply a powerful playground player) gave you a snowjob? A generous mittened handful of snow right down the back of your coat. Getting dumped on by the roof was like that only multiplied by about a thousand percent. I was cold for hours and had to dry out my coat by the fire. I had snow in places I didn’t even know I had places.)
When I arrived here, I noticed that the house was surrounded by drifts of snow in odd places. Big drifts, standing a metre or so from the house. That’s odd, because if the wind is going to push snow up against something, it usually blow it right up against things, and not to the same depth on both sides of a building. “Strange” thought I, but since so much of this has been strange, I didn’t give it more thought. Yesterday though, I got it.
The snow that falls off the roof makes walls. Walls of snow all around the house.
I went out and shovelled for a long time at the front door. (That’s where I got the snowjob) and noted, with both astonishment and trepidation, that at the front of the house, where the kitchen window is, and where the longest part of the roof sheds,
That if it snows again. I won’t be able to see out the windows. Snow walls. I’m increasingly surrounded.