Wow. Snow walls. It was 65 here today. I wore shorts.
Please please please keep on posting snowpictures and woodpictures and deer! I know it's cold, and you are all alone, but it sounds fantastic too, to be able to spend a few days like that! I hope you have time to write...Take care:-)
How beautiful.. How peaceful.. Enjoy.. I'm a bit green eyed. Snow brings peace in my opinion... Maybe try a tunnel.. through the wall.
How beautiful. I love how snow bring peacefullness. Maybe try making a tunnel through the wall.
Enjoy.. I'm a bit green eyed...
Lovely snow. I'm ready for it to be gone in these parts.
It's not pretty snow here any more. (Michigan)
Give me 70 and sunny and I'll be all set.
No matter - I think we are all a tad envious - at least those of us with young kids. It looks so peaceful. Sigh.
I want snow walls! it was 78 F here today in Atlanta Georgia!
It's lovely, from a distance. Several thousand miles is about right. If it were me I would have been entranced by the beauty from indoors and the deer would have been out there on their own.
Glad to hear that you are enjoying some much need time to yourself. Good luck with that whole imagination thing...^_^
I would've turned into Jack Nicholson day before yesterday. Bless you; you're our wooly snow princess.
That last picture of the deer was a nice touch.
Beautiful. Utterly charming! Even the vague feeling of clautrophobia that I end up wtih thinking about walls of snow isn't enough to prevent me from longing to be up where you are...
And I second Sue's notion of a tunnel... I have a sudden longing in my 5 year old heart for someone to build a fort, and if it can't be me, might as well be you right? (but better not if the weather keeps improving, melting forts can be dangerous!)
Beautiful photos! More please.
From your tone, it sounds as if you're becoming one with the snow and the solitude. Once you get back to the craziness of home, I'm sure the memory of this place is somewhere you'll return to over and over again.
Those snow walls will probably keep the axe murderers out.
I love the pictures of the snow, the woods & the deer. In my imagination...I'm there. And I'm happy.
Reminds me of grade 12 or 13
'whose woods these are I think I know.'....
he will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow...
the woods are lovely dark and deep...
and you have promises to keep and much to write before you sleep.'
(Robert Frost by the way)
I love the snow! The snow walls however are getting a bit high. Keep shoveling so you have a way out, (in case the cabin should catch on fire).
I have enjoyed every snow/woods picture. I wish I was sitting in a warm, toasty cabin, knitting.
Thank-you for sharing the journey.
wow, snow. it was supposed to get to 78 here today. it's going to get down to 35 tomorrow night. . .
Uggh. Snow. Next time maybe Joe can have a client with a family home in, say, Aruba.
You ever see The Shining? Don't you know what happens to writers isolated in snow?
This northern transplant (now living in Florida) sure appreciates the snow pictures.
That deer is HUGE! We have plenty of deer in our neighborhood, but nothing so big as that one! WOW!
Kind of a Robert Frost moment you're having there. "Whose woods are these, I do not know." - etc.
Ah, the everlasting power of the sun!! Even in the coldest cold it has the power to melt the snow on the black (heat absorbing) roof. We have a passive solar house and a dark "heat mass" floor, (which just means it is a big hunking bit of concrete painted almost black) and even on the coldest (sunny) days I sometimes have to open a door or window to keep from getting too hot. We almost never have to run our backup heat in the winter. Solar power is a magical thing, almost as good as knitting.
I love your photos of the snow and woods.
We don't have snow here, and our forests are made of entirely different trees.
I'll look at as many photos as you can put up. Please continue to post them as long as it entertains you to do so.
Look at it this way: the snow walls would also make it harder for anything to get IN. Besides, all monsters are sensibly bedded down in their lairs against the cold.
On an unrelated note, both hubby and I are getting ready to knit our first socks, and we'll be following your basic sock pattern.
Love those pictures. . . and love the winter!! For the first part of my life I lived in Georgia, then moved to Northern New York 16 years ago. Love it, love it, love it!! I never want to live in the hot and humid land again. I'm an icicle connoisseur, too, which comes of not really knowing much about how they change so dramatically from minute to minute until I was--ummm--not young anymore. The wind, the sun, the moisture in the air, the slant of the roof all make each one unique. Who knew? I'd love the alone time, too. Northern Ontario, right? Lots of lovely space there any time of year. . .
that deer is definitely trying to communicate with you. what an intense stare! Not sure I could emotionally deal with that much snow walls but the rest of the being alone in the woods has sounded lovely.
Keep the pictures of snow and trees coming. It reminds me of home. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And be sure not to think about the later parts of the Shining. You don't have a topiary maze I hope?
Keep the door cleared.
If you have to shovel snow, in what way is that a vacation? Or even a writing retreat?
I love the snowy woods pictures!!! My kids used to make fun of me when they were young (in a loving "dotty" mom kinda way) because they thought I loved trees too much. As they grow older they are beginning to get it (just as they now get my anti-Barbie attitude & dislike for fast food chains that is not much connected to the quality of the food but rather their cultural impact). I am an atheist but I can definitely understand the old religions that worshiped trees & nature in general.
Oh Stephanie, you could take pictures of dirt and have them look beautiful! I'm living with about the same pictures out my back window (Maine) and I still thinking yours are breathtaking! I was looking at those drifts in yesterday's post and was thinking the snow was closing in on you! I am so jealous!
I am enjoying the photos of the woods, snow and deer. Right now it is 72 degrees here. It never got cold enough for snow this year although we usually don't get more than 1 inch of snow.
I am troubled greatly by the revelation that deer are smarter than humans.
I sure am jealous. And I am looking forward to seeing what creativity this period alone brings to your writing. So I guess that makes me jealous and selfish. I'll go knit awhile and meditate on being a better person. You just go on doing what you do so well.
Oh, you ae making me ache with desire to be somewhere alone, all by myself for a few days. Out in the middle of the woods all alone would be ideal, though not even necessary.
So beautiful!! I love the pictures. Keep on posting please.
Besides its obvious charms, this retreat is producing an interesting psychological experiment. Every time you mention being scared people trip over themselves to suggest a few terrors you might not have thought of on your own. WTF? I have a dwindling list of some that neither you nor your support team have mentioned -- we'll see if there's a complete bingo before you're done.
Well, at least the axe murderer can't get to you in that snow fort! =)
You could make a version my "no trespassing" sign:
"Trespassers will be sorry"
Turn that bad ass imagination back onto its evil source
gently at night how lovely
the virgin snow falls
each ice crystal a pattern
silently drifting down
a comfort in the darkness
of the night my thoughts
drifting as quietly as the
snow in silent meditation
by me elizabeth a
i just admire this weeks posting
every thing changes the red leaves
can be seen the deers the snow drifts
and the stars and moon thank you
Hi, hardly ever seen snow, and then it was 5cms deep. Wish I was there too. Make a snow angel for us if you can, please,
OK, did you happen to notice that this deer in the photo looks as if it has it's lighter colored fur on....which can only mean one thing. Spring can't be far behind. Oh, and if it's just a trick of my eyes, just let me be in my own little dream world.
That deer looks like it's gathering information to report to it's friends later so they can all have a good giggle...
It sounds to me like you've been given a fantastic opportunity to make the best snow angel Canada has ever seen. Although that might be a bit too reminiscent of the snow falling onto you from the roof. ;)
As someone who spent the day in 25 C weather, and who lives in an area where 5 C is considered frigid, please, by all means keep posting the pictures of the woods and the snow!
With such an amazing, vivid imagination might we see a "Stephanie Pearl-McPhee turns Stephen King" novel some day??? Just a thought. ;-)
Those snow walls might be pretty good protection for your "greenfood".
Snow sliding off the roof is a GOOD thing! Much better than a collapsing roof, or having to climb up and shovel.
I meant to take pix of the icicles hanging off our porch roof the last time I was at the farm. They were stuck out almost horizontal. I didn't know icicles could DO that!
Ah, that last picture is pretty cool. You're making memories, girl.
I've been reading about your adventure every day! You are so brave, I could never ever do something like you are doing. Your pictures are beautiful, stay safe and keep posting!
I live in a place just like the one you're posting about and I never tire of taking pictures. The woods look the same to some people but to me, like you,the changes are endless and i never get fed up with living here or looking out my wondows!!
That deer can still see YOU. But it's kindly making trails for you, so it's all good.
Being so isolated, my imagination would run wild! Steven King has nothing on me. I would love to be snowbound in a more civilized area. Love to stitch, knit and read in front of a fireplace.
When I read this I can sense the peacefulness but start to feel so antsy and so needing to get back to civilization. And I'm not even there. I guess that you've written it so well, I feel like I'm there when I'm reading. Are you feeling like you need to get back yet?
I live in a place just like the one you're posting about and I never tire of taking pictures. The woods look the same to some people but to me, like you,the changes are endless and i never get fed up with living here or looking out my windows!!
So how do you think you'll remember the week? The scariest 6 nights of your life? Six nights of being one with nature? I have two small children and no longer get to go to the bathroom by myself, but I would lose my mind with all that isolation. Personally, I like alone time that involves a person who makes coffee for you when you order it.
The tunnel comments are reminding me of a scene in one of my favorite fantasy novels (not *that* kind of fantasy, please) where a group of brothers were trying to sneak up to a castle encased in snow. They took turns smallest one first, digging into the snow, then pushing side-to-side and up to pack the snow into walls for the tunnel, each making the tunnel slightly larger and more stable. An amusing read, but really bad for this claustrophobe. Anyway, I thought I'd mention it in case you need to make an emergency escape!
Have not ever heard the term "snowjob"; we had "whitewashing", an activity I was on the receiving end of, oh, perhaps a half-dozen times in junior high. I was so thankful for dryers in home-ec that year.
Man, I hated junior high. I'm fairly certain that the reason the number 13 is considered unlucky has more to do with one's age in middle school than the date the Knights Templar were decimated (or were they totally wiped out?).
I can't believe you didn't pack scotch. Are you practicing yoga on your own?
I'm so glad that you have time (and are inclined) to post this weekend. If you see any interesting tracks, will you post pictures?
Are you missing your noisy rabble much yet?
The pictures are gorgeous, it all looks so peaceful. Winter in San Francisco is nowhere near as glamorous, and it already feels like she's having a tug of war with Spring over how much fog we should have.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the snowy woods pictures! I grew up in the woods in upstate NY, and I miss the sight of those beautiful trees in winter and the way that the snow just blankets everything, and that wonderful bright light that only happens the day after a snowstorm. This looks and sounds like heaven to me.
Snow. Wish we had snow. It's 295.93º K here right now. (That's 73º F and 23º C for you people who, for whatever reason, DON'T measure from absolute zero...).
Am I in the Sahara? No. I'm in Arkansas. It's far worse.
Rest easy. It looks like you are surrounded by sentinels.
I had to send my best Steph-it's Bonnie (Pam's friend, Maggie's Mom) I'm loving your posts about your time in the woods-believe it or not-your photos look like you're sitting in my house taking pictures. I wake every morning to 7 deer staring me down as I sit on the couch & drink coffee & knit from 5:30AM-6:30AM-even the snow piled up around the windows feels like home to me. Hang in there-this is good for your soul. I just became a gramma & am using your book to figure out how to make a hat to fit the newborn-thanks!
Please Steph don't stop posting those gorgeous snow pictures. I live in Alabama and it's 80 today. I have only seen one serious snow all of my life (I'm 30). I desperately want to go vacation just once in the snow. Love your blog. You are inspirational in your goofy, real and clumsy way.
Are you SURE you're not staying at my parents'?! I'm going to phone them and check. Sure looks like it to me!
How do you get the deer to pose for you like that? ;)
"We've got rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks and water!"
You're not charmed you're procrastinating. Get back to work, mama needs a new book!
I'm enjoying your winter woods from afar. BUT ARE YOU WRITING THE BOOK? Can't blame the teenagers this week, eh?
You may now resume your knitting. As you were.
Hey Steph - Please don't stop the wonderful snow pictures...I just got back from spending a few days in Nebraska visiting my in-laws...it is an annual tradition, in the hopes of seeing some snow. Alas, there wasn't much this year. Your posts makes me think if it would be possible to schedule a snow retreat next year - someplace wonderful and snow filled, rustic - like Montana...I'll have to work on that.
Carolyn - disgusted-with-our-weather-in-Texas
80 degress today...
Oh Steph, I'm loving this *series*. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I doubt that I'll ever see such sights in Oklahoma, so I'll just have to imagine it all and look at the pictures some more.
Shovel the path, and shovel an alternate path for
the emergency exit. Rabbits know enough to have
an alternate exit, so should humans.
I'm glad that was just snow and not an icicle that
slid down onto you. Look up before going under
snow is a treacherous fox-face
the chinese probably thought
it lurks in wait this morning
for the weak and overwrought
last night it laughed its head off
loving the fear it's brought
(from: images of snow - by Rg Gregory)
So happy you are moving from "weak and overwrought" to appreciating the magic!
What a beautiful deer picture! I am also buried deep in my house here in Vermont so I can identify with you. I occasionally feel like the comic strips where the house is buried in snow and someone pokes their head out of the chimney to see the outside!! Use caution going under the roof line- it can be dangerous if too much falls at once!!
That last picture? Sp beautiful it hurts. You lucky duck.
Wow, beautiful. Glad you are enjoying your serenity!
I love the woods pictures and all the snow and deer. it sounds like your having a wonderful experience. I can't wait to read more.
Here's a roof-and-ice-related phenomenon you probably won't see, but I'm telling you just in case so you won't freak out... a few years ago I lived in a mobile home with a light colored metal roof. After a good snowfall followed by slow warming, there were icicles a couple feet long. And as the snow mass on the roof gradually shifted downward, the icicles turned inward to about a 45 degree angle, facing the trailer. I felt like I was living in a giant icy Venus fly trap.
Do be on the lookout for stuff falling off the roof, and enjoy the rest of your wilderness adventure!
Thank you again, Steph, for the beautiful pictures and for letting us know you are still OK. How long is your hibernation going to last, or when are you going to be rescued?
I'm with rams- I can think of lots of scary stuff no one has mentioned. But it seems our clever Harlot doesn't need any more nudges in that direction.
Enjoy the beauty friend. I think many more visits to the big woods are in your future.
Please watch out for the snow falling off the roof. Recently a man living just north of us (north of Boise) died when he was hit by falling snow and another person is in the hospital with multiple broken bones. It looks wonderful but is a real hazard.
I dreamed of being in the woods last night and it's all your fault! But I love it.
My question for you is how did you get there? Did someone drive you? Did you drive? Do you have a car there?
I'm at the point where another snowfall may trigger uncontrollable bawling (kinda like in that Expedia travel commercial)... but your pictures make it all worthwhile.
But the deer are intrigued, arent' they? It's really beautiful there--keep those pictures coming!
I can't help but wonder how totally weird it's going to be to return home. i think your head might explode at the transition (tho i totally hope it doesn't).
You are surrounded by continually changing beauty and peace. You do not need to shovel out a car in the morning to get to work, nor drive in the stuff, nor go anywhere unless you choose to. My kinda peace and relaxation so I am glad to get it vicariously through you. Here, at home, I am now tired of the snow that always, by March, feels endless. You, on the other hand have found a way to make it all so positive. I am loving this series. Thank you.
Now to check on those mushers in Alaska. Have you looked at them yet? The Iditarod restart was today. www.iditarod.com
Kind of like when you're pregnant and everyone practically stands in line to tell you their labor/delivery horror stories, eh, Rams?
Thakns for the daily updates and letting the Blog know you are ok. Actually, it seems as if you've adapted rather well to the profound aloneness. Are you thinking about signing on for a few more days?
The best way to keep the walls down is to shovel (after the roof has shed, so no snow down the back of the neck or worse). Snow shovelling is vastly underrated as exercise. It is great for the arms and waist. Just be sure to do it carefully, using your legs to lift, not your back. I do all the shovelling of our driveway in town and off the paths at our cabin (and would do next to the windows too if we were so lucky as to get a lot of snow!). Good exercise, keeps you warm and thus allows you to deserve some extra treats and libations!
Your stay at this cabin sounds amazing. Would you mind sharing where you are? I'm not asking for an address or anything, but I'm curious what region of your big country you're in.
That deer's looking at you and thinking, "Wow dude. You're screwed."
Here's hoping for no more snow, or at least a bit of melt first....
Dear God! In case the cabin catches on fire??? Bless your little heart, (we say that a lot in the south) how about keep clearing a path in case an astroid falls on the cabin? I know she means well but that was sort of like being told "for a fat girl, you don't sweat much"! :-) I'm sure it sounded nicer when she was typing it. Maybe just add, Bless your little heart. In the South we believe you can say almost anything to anyone if you follow it up with "Bless your little heart!" I would almost give up my new Harmony wood needle set to spend a week there. Well, maybe just one size.
Such beautiful pictures!!!! And I'm jealous of the snow!!!!!
I lovethe pictures of the woods.
At least you are not surrounded by hungry wolverines looking in the window, thanking their deity for the nice warm food.....they would probably just chew through the door...just thought I'd mention the real marauders out there...just keep writing and knitting and reminding yourself that people do indeed know you are there.....
Have fun. It's a "cool" experiment.
snow... it was 80 here(California!) :)
i wore shorts
Oh, by the way,"Bless your little heart". (I may be in California, but I used to live in Virginia and we also say that when people mean well ....)
Your woods pictures are never gonna get old for me - I used to live by the sea, and the changes there happen minute-to-minute, not day-to-day. Keep your chin up, and write on.
That deer is totally about to roll its eyes at you. "TSK, those humans with their houses and their shovels and their kitchens," it says.
Even with the shovelling and the snow, I continue to envy your week north. I hope the rest of the stay goes well and is more or less zombie free.
Yesterday I was driving around town with the top down on my Miata (mid-life crisis car)in 73 degree F weather and today we have snow and blizzard conditions in the metro Denver area. Ahhhh Denver! We promise to have beautiful weather when you visit in April! Thanks for the forest pictures....I would rather have been there in the snow than here in the slushy frozen suburbs.
Gloriously beautiful pictures! I miss snow, I miss how the landscape changes from one snowfall to the next. Although part of that may be because where I live now, I don't have to and don't get to encounter nor shovel any. Right now, I'm enjoying the best parts of it through your posts. So pretty out there.
I know what you mean about the snow, although up here we call them face washes. At any rate, they're ick, cold, and wet.
Thank you for sharing your solitude with all of us. What a unique opportunity! I envy you.
Holy moly, I've heard tale of folks being snowed in, but I've never been able to fathom snow that deep before. Seeing the wall-o-snow around your cabin makes me claustrophobic. At least you would have a windbreak and a tunnel around the house for walking in. Are the deer getting used to you yet?
We have 8 Deer mounted on our den walls, I've always wanted to knit little hats for them or decorate them for Christmas. hehehehe My husband would have a coronary. There's a 9th at the taxidermist. One sneers at me and I think I hear him call me names that indicate my Mother was a female dog.
I'm a snow neophyte, but aren't you worried about getting buried in the night? I mean, how do you get out if the house gets completely covered? Or is this too paranoid?
Lovely snow and woods. Beautiful deer. I wish I could stand and listen to the silence.
I have a memory of a visit to Sequoia Natl Park once, years ago, early on a morning after fog, when the piney woods aroma was strong, and in the silence I could hear a million dewdrops splashing on the fallen leaves.
It's the place I go back to in my memory when things are whizzing by at too fast a rate.
Maybe this will be a place you dwell in many times through the years.
Enjoy, then go home.
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 with you there. That has always been my problem, and I don't even like being alone on the nights when my Hubster is out late gaming, or away on a business trip. If I didn't have kitties to keep me company I'd be a nervous wreck.
I'm very jealous of you and your snowy retreat. Incidentally, I'm completely charmed that you didn't immediately understand the metal roof/walls of snow combination. It seemed so obvious to me! We all take our experiences so completely for granted. I grew up in a house like that, with lots of snow!
That deer looks like it might have a Brooklyn accent... it sure appears to have the attitude.
"Whadda *you* lookin' at?"
I lived in a rural area for about 3 years and the charm just never got old. Even when I got sick of having to go "into town" to get the basics. But I never got sick of the wildlife, the scenery and every season change was magic. I took a LOT of pictures all the time. ;-)
never do the deer pictures get dull.
please. see I'm easy to please. eh?
I've been reading your adventures daily and keep thinking, "How often does she call Joe?"
Trust me, if I were in your shoes, my husband would have come and fetched me the next day because I would have been phoning him constantly.
You are far far braver than I and I totally admire you twice over for it.
Gorgeous pictures. The beauty of the woods is that they really are different and the same, every day. Thanks for sharing with us!
I'm glad to hear that you were only hit by a small amount of snow - a big dump has potential to be really dangerous. But if it has all slid off, then it shouldn't be a concern...Your photos are lovely, please do keep posting them. I skied 25 k today on our lovely trails, and am glad that you're able to enjoy a similar woods-and-snow environment. Back to knitting thrummed mittens...
I always hated snow jobs. Terrible things those and you had to spend recess cold as all get out because the recess monitor had issues and wouldn't let you into the school to get warm.
I think I would start to feel cranky and claustrophobic with all the windows covered in snow walls too. I get pissy enough when the husband insists on keeping all the shades down.
I'm enjoying your snowy-woods posts, especially the lovely deer.
Dont you ever wonder exactly what a nightmare is like for steven king?
I'm not adding to the bingo (rams), but it was a little disconcerting that the post came so late in the day. Good thing we don't all have helicoptors at our disposal. That might really set the deer off.
Enjoyable as ever.
Ummm... nice and pretty though I think snow tunnels would be, could I mention that snow tunnels collapse? I don't want to scare you any more than you've already been scared, but I think it's not a wise thing to build when you're in a place where you don't have anybody watching you. I'm leaving the deer out of it - they seem totally governed by self-interest to me.
Surrounded, or protected. It's like you have a snow fortress keeping the bad-guys out and away.
And if you were at all provoked to flee into the night, I'm sure that finding a deer trail would be the least of your concerns. I have no idea what would compel a smal, Canadian woman to run from her cabin in the night (most likely in her shift), but I'm guessing that finding safe passage through the snowy drifts would be secondary to whatever was making you behave in such a manner.
Really, so many reassuring things to think about!
Just a thought...if there is a large snow wall around the house then no one or thing can get in...so you are safe. Relax and enjoy.
Stephanie, I am loving all the photos of the woods, keep them coming as you like, I'm also charmed, utterly.
Also utterly amazed at the amount of snow there :^)
Love the snow pictures and not bored with them at all. You are a good photographer. The deer are nice, too. I like how the snow curls over the edges of the roof - always thought that was cool. Thanks to you and your inspiring photos and stories, we are planning a hike in the wilderness next weekend! Can't wait! Stay warm and safe -
This trip in the woods is so much fun. Keep writing.......
I'm wondering what in the world the deer eat with so much snow cover. Bark & twigs? That seems awfully skimpy, considering they're burning energy to stay warm plus all that running and jumping.
Please keep posting beautiful snowy woods pictures! As a country girl cooped up in the big city, I am enjoying living vicariously through your pictures.
And remember, zombies can't break through snow walls. :)
Beautiful! My question is: how did you get there, and how will you get out?
It makes me happy to no end that you are posting over the weekend. I have been studying 10+ hours a day for a midterm tomorrow, and its nice to get a mini-break where I don't have to think about reaction kinetics. Thank you. Thank you very very very much.
Beautiful! I am so happy you are getting this time. Enjoy, Stephanie.
I think the photos are wonderfully beautiful, no matter how many you post!
Oh, and that vivid imagination creating all sorts of possible (albeit unikely) scenarios in your head - I totally have that same issue. And though it can make for some anxiety-ridden moments when you feel most vulnerable (being all alone in the woods in the winter fits in there), it also serves well for creativity.
Stephanie, I grew up in VT. I know those walls. I live in California now but I ache for those walls. I am loving every moment of your recitation!!
I understand the fascination with the snow, Stephanie. We've had WAY more than usual this winter in Iowa, yet I stand at the window after each new snowfall, looking out into the woods behind our house, and I am awestruck by the fresh beauty. I understand the deer tracks, too--the deer have a sort of super highway going on behind our house. It was funny, but right after you posted about the deer looking in your window the other day while you were making a salad for your dinner, two young deer decided to look in on us, right up at our window. Our terriers got quite excited, which was why we noticed the deer. We've never had deer quite as bold as that before.
Thanks for sharing your experience. As much as I crave solitude sometimes, I can imagine what a challenge the experience must be...
I remember spending some time at Holden Village, in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. They did not have the same efficient metal roofs, and we were constantly warned away from certain areas, lest we get buried by "roofalanches." One story we heard was of several feet collecting on the roof of a lodge, and when the inevitable roofalanche came, it was strong enough to move a dumptruck - yes, a dumptruck - 6 feet further away from the building. Smaller falls are better, methinks. Incidentally, the "craft cave" at Holden was where I started knitting again, after first learning many years back. Thanks for sharing your winter cabin adventures!
Never enough pictures of the woods!! When I was living in Moscow, I was both amused and horrified by the signs that went up all around town in the winter reminding pedestrians not to walk to close to the buildings lest they risk death by a monstrously sized icecicle falling on them from eight stories up. So, um, yeah--please be careful of the stuff on the roof!
Yes, keep posting as many snow & woods pictures as you like! (I know you don't like winter, but it's *supposed* to be cold and snowy, not the um, 15ºC they're predicting for tomorrow.)
Sounds like a banner week so far, for knitting, writing, blogging, and just listening and thinking. What I'm curious about is this--how does it sort out? I mean, given total aloneness and an absence of other people's demands on you, do you write for an hour and knit for an hour, or walk for an hour and write for two, or write all morning and knit all night, or . . . just curious. It's so many years since I've had that kind of control over my own schedule!
Looks as though you might soon need a periscope or light tunnel. Do you cut steps into the drifts?
Wile we are not inundated with trees in the UK you can get to some remote spots where it is just you and the trees and I know what you mean, they watch you!
I think you should put away your fears re the axe murderer. If you can only stand 20mins of freezing cold an adrenaline fueled maniac wouldn't be able to stand much more.
So that only leaves the deer and the bears. Deer are not known for carnivourous tendancies. Can't comment about bears....
Enjoy the solitude
So many posts about snow and woods and deer. It is all so beautiful and magical to me. I live in Victoria, Australia at the moment enjoying a long hot summer (32C) today. It is all a bit surreal since I have never experienced living anywhere with snow. However your descriptions and photos are really giving me an incite into your winter world.
Reading you here everyday in Belgium.The way you write is such a delight to read. I enjoy everything, the pictures, the fun, the wit...and now the snow, the woods, the deers, the solitude (especially when you have loved ones to go back to, that is for me the best part). Thank you for the inspiration. Have a beautiful day and I wish you good progress with the book you are writing.
A tunnel, yes. I hate shoveling, but a tunnel might be fun.
I somehow feel as if I'm there with you...I'd certainly love to experience the cold and the snow. Your descriptions are so vivid, especially to a southern girl who has seen 1-2" snowfalls in her lifetime, certainly nothing like what you are experiencing. I've often imagined retiring to Vermont or somewhere where I could hibernate like a bear. North Carolina is a long way from snow in March....
love the pictures!! all of them.
Might they do the roof also so that when the wind blows hits the piled up snowbank and then goes around the house and not through it.?! (I'm thinking cold drafts. Anyways please keep the pictures and your experences coming.
Steph, you need to be careful about those kind of snowjobs. My brother-in-law ended up with a broken back from the snow falling off his house onto his head. You should probably stand under the eaves and wack the snow with your shovel on the roof around the door... or avoid shoveling until the snow falls off over the door.
My kids aren't allowed between the houses until the snow has fallen off.
In any case, be careful. (And sorry to give you something else to worry about.)
I have enjoyed your "alone in the woods" stories. I had always thought of myself as the type who prized her privacy, but after many years of marriage and three children I, too, found myself alone for a long weekend. I had turned down dinner invitations from friends, thinking I would so thoroughly revel in my chance after so many years for privacy. I, instead, found myself calling one of those friends hoping they would reissue their invitation. When they had made alternate plans, I finally accepted that I was truly and completely alone and that I could do whatever I wanted. And, it turned out, I could enjoy myself, all by myself, afterall. I will admit that I was very happy to see my returning family along with all the chaos, noise and joy they brought with them, but it was nice to spend a little time finding the part of me that had become buried under the demands of a shared life.
O.M.G I just cannot imagine that much snow. We are 'lucky' if we get a couple of inches here and then it's like the world has come to a standstill!
Would love to experience it though, just for a bit. I think you're very brave!
I love your photos of the snow and trees! I miss the snow. So much so that I had a dream last night starring a snow storm. IN FLORIDA.
It is so beautiful there!
Watch out though--I'm pretty sure the snow walls are all a part of the deer plot to steal your salad. They're smarter than some people realize.
I gotta ask...do you have running water? Maybe you said and I missed it. I'd probably think it'd be worth shoveling the windows.
"Dang. Everytime we get her buried in there... she digs out again. Quick, my deer compadre's...dance the snow dance like never before! We shall conquer the greenfood eater, maybe not swiftly, but surely and completely."
What the lead demon deer says to inspire it's team to victory over the Harlot.
Oh do I know what the sound of the snow sliding off the roof makes. It scared the bejeebers out of me. I was at my daughters when it happened. It sounded as if there was an earthquake happening. But in this snow ladened state we need those metal roofs. They help out the shoveling aspect. Until it happens to end up by the door you need to get out of. It looks so pretty up there and peaceful. I have an uncle who has a camp out in the wilderness and he sees alot of critters. Aren't those deer a beautiful sight? They are so pretty. Soon you will be home in the city. Keep taking those pictures. I never tire of you pics or writing. Speaking of writing. I am a hairdresser and my clients all know that I knit b/c when it is quiet I bring out the knitting. Well, the other day one of my clients brought me a gift. It just so happened to be one of your books. I was so happy and she was to not knowing that I love you. The book is "The Secret Life of a Knitter". My friend let me read hers but now I have my own. Some day I will have you sigh my books for me when I can get the chance to see you. My dream. Keep up your good work. I live to read your blog.
hmmm yet another good reason NOT to store my stash on the roof.... Large,(sweater's worth)chunks of malabrigo falling from the roof and landing on my husbands head would be harder to explain than inconspicuous containers hidden in plain sight...
How come you were not pre-warned about all these conditions that are frightening the bejeezes out of you? Or, is this some kind of sadistic test of your fortitude? If so, I think you are passing with flying colors! And, I do hope you are finding time to do the writing you went there for between shoveling and planning escape routes. If you find you NEED company, let me know and I will arrive with a bottle of scotch around my neck.
I imagine those snow walls will keep you warm when the wind blows.
Nice photo of the deer.
I have been thinking I am envious of you being so alone like that for awhile. If I had all the right toys with me I think I would find it absolutely wonderful.
This week, I listened to a family discuss their experiences as the first family to hike the 1500 or so miles of the Continental Divide Trail, from the top of Montana to the bottom of New Mexico. They actually met some grizzlies, and were fascinated. However, as soon as the bears were aware of people, the bears ran away very quickly.
I think you might be safe.
Having lived rural most of my life, I am enjoying your impressions of things I experience frequently, although do not take for granted. When you feel out of your element, remember that us "ruralies" would feel equally un-nerved and apprehensive in a big city where you are totally comfortable. Enjoy your time living closer to nature for even a short while. Those moments are getting harder to find and are precious.
Just think, though, if you can't get out, those piles of laundry and bills can't get IN.
Just think though...if you have snow walls then the ax murderer will have a much harder time getting in.
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but it sounds as though you might be channeling Thoureau. (as in Henry David)
I love the woods pics and envy you to the nth degree...however, this morning, I saw not one, not two, but six or so red breasted robins frolicking in the snow. Mind you, there's still a good 6" or so on the ground, and I'm sure that the robins are close to starving (either that or there's a wormsicle frenzy that I'm unaware of), but THERE ARE ROBINS. SPRING IS COMING. WOOHOO!!
So beautiful and peaceful! I love all the pictures! No worries here!
Re: snowjob. I went snowmobiling for the first time, and managed to pull just enough off of the groomed trails to avoid hitting someone in front of me who had pulled a tight corner and stopped. which then tipped the snowmobile and fell safely into the snow. I had snow in places I didn't know I had places all day. When we got home from being out all day I had snow falling out from all over. Craziness! I didn't compare it to a snowjob, but I would now!
Um, you are sounding more like Steven King with each post. I fear next post will have you sharing a crazed looking Stephanie photo like Jack Nicholson "Where's Johnny?" photo from The Shining.
I'm from the Deep South, keep the snow in the woods pics coming!
I just got caught up to speed reading all the woods-cabin-writer-snow posts in one go. I think this comment is overly-long but I'm going to post it anyway.
I too would be over-indulging my churning-for-calamity imagination in such a situation. In fact, my imagination is in over-drive right now and so feel the need to tell you some of the kinds of thing this city-girl tells herself over and over....
People are the most dangerous things for other people and everyone knows there are more people in the city, so _statistically_ you are safer where you are.
Axe-murderers are not generally favored by natural selection, having chosen decidedly anti-social professions and, as the deer are proving, social behavior (ie watching each other's footprints and less striking out on one's own) is best for natural selection.
Ergo, _statistically_ it is unlikely that there are many axe murderers in the world in general. Since axe murderers are, by nature, anti-social, their modest population must be spread out over the entire world. So, the _statistical_ odds of any one axe murderer being in the vicinity of your cabin is highly unlikely. All of this is also true for chain-saw massacre types.
Your policy on weapons of all types is also very _statistically_ sound. More often than not, an inexperienced person who has a weapon (such as firearm or chain saw or even axe) finds that weapon used against him or herself. So, that's dead-on.
As you can tell, I try to take solace in rational-type ideas for which I can "determine" _statistical_ analysis. It usually only holds for so long though so, there are a few other factoids that might be useful mantras, of sorts.
Deer are vegetarians.
You are very experienced at handling metal knitting needles. The best place to stab a person for instant debilitation is probably through the neck, just to the right or left of the hard bit that is generally dead-center on the human neck (Adam's apple on the male version of the human neck). Or, if you can handle it, into the eye ball.
If possible, pull the needle back out for maximum bleed effect; stab wounds are usually not gushers, but if you hit it just right, it might spurt. The sight of one's own blood in quantity or spurting is shocking even to the most steel-nerved of EMT's. (And really would an axe murderer be likely to have a day job as an ambulance worker? That's just crazy-talk.)
Finally, I applaud you for sticking it out this long. I live alone in a city and love it, but I'm not going to fool myself that the solitude and peace of your setting would do anything other than rattle my brain so much that I try to run home and end up freezing to death- thus receiving, I am sure, equal parts pity and mockery from the deer.
I should probably have mentioned that I work in an urban ER. I'm not actually sitting around plotting up ways to take out strangers with my knitting needles all day (and anyway, I use wooden ones).
It looks like our place in Maine- we can't see into the back yard anymore due to Mount Doom which has accumulated from the snow coming off the barn roof. When it comes off, watch out! It sounds like an express train going by.
I've been enjoying reading all your posts about woodsy solitude. :) There are similar woods, although not so deep, where I live, and a lot of what you're seeing and hearing is familiar to me.
Our roof has been doing the sliding snow thing on and off for weeks. It keeps dumping snow, then warming up a few hours later. The noise, as you observed, is incredible.
We also have deer, which used to come into our yard at night to eat until we got a cat who was stupid enough to think she could chase them away. Apparently she succeeded, as we haven't seen them since...
I love your pics of the snowy woods. I recently moved away from my beloved far northeast US to the very very far south. I'm so homesick and miss the snow and the woods, and I'm having to learn how to knit tank tops and short sleeves and may never get to knit a scarf that goes on and on and on and on again! Your pics are great and so are the descriptions of your surroundings. My favorite picture was the one with the icicles.
I like your pictures and log! Greetings from Fryslân, north of holland.
You're right. Woods do change all the time. I saw that when I spent a few summers living in the woods in northern Vermont.
You seem to be doing fine, but you need to find some friends with an empty house or condo in a warm place. I wish I had one to provide.
Keep the deer coming! It is really helping me with my art class.
I also think this is a Robert Frost moment, but I think we're remembering the wrong poem. How about:
Something there is that doesn't love a wall
That wants it down!
Your writing (which is always good) is really wonderful right now. I hope that the writing that you're supposed to be doing is flowing well -- as well as these wonderful descriptions of your experiences in the snow.
Keep it up!
I love the Solitude in the woods surrounded by nothing but trees and animals. It is mine and hubbys dream to one day be able to build a house on my parents property where we are close enuff to civilization for the amenities, but far enough away to not be bothered by neighbours. The Woods are lovely in your pictures enjoy it while it lasts.
This is always something I thought I would love to do. Our cabin is water access only and no plumbing. I dreamt of coming up by myself and being still for a few days (well, knitting of course). But after we had one allergic bee sting, one sliced finger that needed stitches, one encounter with a bear, wolf kill behind the cabin and spiders the size of my palm, I somehow keep managing to talk myself out of going it alone. I commend you, my dear. It's your own Walden Pond experience. Maybe I'll muster my courage (first I gotta get me some internet access).
I am really, really, really, really glad it's YOU there, not me....
but are you getting the pre-requisite amount of writing done? :)
Do you have any idea how many pictures I take of the pine woods behind my house (you understand here that "woods" means "a strip of wooded land maybe 50 to 100 feet wide between the back yard and the main road, and thank heaven those trees are there, else the traffic noise would drive me wacko), every five minutes of sunset over the pines, snow falling, snow that just fell, snow that fell four, five, six, and counting hours ago, sunrise from my driveway...? I don't post even 10 percent of them, for the same reason you're worried about.
The snow-shedding roof is cool. Also scary.
Yeah, OK, I know you're a vegetarian and all that and I know this is politically incorrect to the max, but DARN, that is some handsome venison on the hoof ...
Evelyn at 10:39:
Or "I have been one acquainted with the night"
TREES!?? Snow covered too! Beautiful!
Snow covered Sage Brush just doesn't have the same effect. And the Snow Walls here are along the streets not around the houses.
Enjoying your series, keep posting & sending lots of pictures.
And, just to be a spoilsport, Walden was within spitting distance of Concord. Thoreau ate dinner with the Emersons many a day, and even in Walden complains about too much company.
(Mid-semester break. I'll try to get a grip.)
So what you need to do is get up on the roof and slide off into a snow-wall! At least, that's what I used to do when I was a kid in Minnesota. :-b It also might pack down the wall around the window a bit so you're not stuck with a white-out view.
beautiful, beautiful snow walls.
Here's hoping they become so firmly fixed in your imagination and spirit that when you're in the midst of your ridiculous upcoming schedule and the insanity of hotel/speaking/airport/hotel/speaking etc... begins to poke into the crevices of your mind, you can take a deep breath and throw up a snow wall of your own to hide your writer's voice behind. Treasure them while you're there, eh?
Wow. We got more snow here too, but not that much!
Wow...I haven't seen snow like that since I was in montana nearly 12 years ago..It was 70 degrees here yesterday..and now it's a lovely 50 and raining. Snow and woods in march, how amazing.
Is noone else concerned for her safety? She could be snowed in for months. We could be cyber-reading about her downward spiral into yarn starvation and eventual frogging of a garmet just for something to knit if this snow keeps piling her in. This is a troubling concern for me. Does noone else see the perils surrounding her? Next she'll be out there trapping the deer, wrestling them to the ground with a curry comb for their fiber!
This is too stressful for me. I'll be glad when her time in the wilds is up and she's back safety within yarn store limits...
We're having a big avalanche season here in the Northwest - and I hasten to add they only happen on steep mountain slopes, don't add to your worries! Anyway, they happen exactly like your roof works, but with slippery layers of snow underneath the fluffier layers, instead of the roof surface.
Have you tried making friends with the deer?
Are we watching a slow decent into madness? How much longer until you're out of that cabin, Steph?
I'm really enjoying your 'alone in the woods' blogs. They're definitely different, while still authentic Harlot.
My husband & I have a second house in the northwoods of Wisconsin. While there is much more to do during the other seasons, winter is my favorite time of year to visit. The quiet calm takes over giving you an opportunity to really unplug from the rest of the world.
I'm not much of an outdoorsy person (mostly because I do not have the proper winter gear for hard-core cold), so I quite enjoy sitting next to the wood stove, with my knitting and a cup of coffee or glass of wine.
Enjoy your time alone. Despite the ax murders, ice cracks and laughing deer, I imagine you'll have fond memories of this holiday and yearn for more solitude in the future.
Nope. Not Thoreau. Not Frost (whom I dearly love). Sorry, Rams.
We should all be talking about Dick Proenneke, who built himself a log cabin in Alaska and lived alone there for thirty years. He filmed many of his experiences and wrote a book called "Alone in the Wilderness". (There's a DVD available, too.)
He, too, wrote about the challenges of adjusting to a solitary existence and how wonderful it could be.
I'm stuck in a highrise (albiet one with fabulous views of the San Francisco Bay). I think the snow pictures are pretty. And pretty amazing. I've never lived in snow--well, not since I was 2 or so, and I don't remember that far back. I thought icicles like that only happened in illustrated books of fairy tales. I am charmed. And grateful that I don't have to shovel the stuff.
P.S., Your line about deer on the roof cracked me up. You have no idea the things I have imagined when it was just raccons or crows or (horrors!) squirrels on my roof.
And somehow, I bet you think that doe is laughing!
The snow falling off those metal roofs is very dangerous. It sounds like a plane flying very low or an earthquake. We have a house with the metal roof next door and it shakes our house when the snow slides off. It is so close to our house that it fills in our driveway. We hear the rumble and run for the door to make sure the dog doesn't get buried alive. If you think the snow is scarry wait until you have several inches of ice from freezing rain on the roof and that slides off the roof.
Wheras (this is Presbytera's fault) Mike Perry, in Population 485, talks about sledding off their Wisconsin shed roof onto a heap of snow (he admits before he knew the term "lumbar compression fracture.") And he has video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtDV_gOcq4Q
We have lived in our mountian home for 26 years and only twice has our covered back deck become another room, the extra walls created by snow coming off the roof. Fortunately, it was while the kids were a) at home and b) young enough to appreciate it.
As for the optomistic out there who have seen robins and believe spring to be on its way - we had feet (6 or 7) of snow on our front, south facing lawn in early February. Then came the thaw - we could see grass! All that was left of the snow was the stuff shovelled up out of the road and drive! Today it's snowing! Again! The lawn has disappeared and I am reminded of the Victoria Day weekend when I was the only one who got out of Guide camp becasue I had procastinated changing from winter to summer tires.
Honestly, Rams. Do I have to spell it out? Mr. Proenneke lived alone in Alaska for years and *didn't get hurt* in any significant way.
Besides, BINGO! You said "lumbar compression fracture" and that was my last open square.
Well, nor yet did Mike. He just learned after the fact (but before Steph scaled the roof) that he could have done.
I like your Bingo better than mine, having been composing PhD Bingo to stay awake. (Should the center square be "text" or "trope?")
1. Where did you get those lovely dp needles?
2. Are you wearing a sweater that you made to keep you warm?
This is weird--I go away for a few days and suddenly my favorite knitting blog is a cross between Survivor and some cheesy Stephen King book. What's with all the discussion about axe-murderers?
I have a lot of catching up to do....
Eek! Are there bears with you??
(You said, "Bear with me. I'm charmed.")
I love that last deer picture. The trees are so vertical and the shadows and deer are so horizontal. There is geometric grid effect. Lovely composition. I so envy your peace and quiet. I guess I don't have such a vivid imagination. Handy that sometimes.
It's very admirable of you go on this extreme adventure, that complete aloneness is really something! and thank you as always for sharing steph
The deer is thinking, ohmygod! That's Stephanie Pearl McPhee -- I need to go get my knitting! Beautiful woods, beautiful place. It's 80 degrees F here in San Diego (though we had snow two weeks ago!), and the desert flowers are just coming in. Wish I were there, but that would kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn't it?
I wonder if you are a sort of reality show for the deer. I imagine deer don't get much entertainment. Do you think that counts towards good karma? Entertaining an under-considered group?
Please keep posting pics of trees and snow. We don't really have trees OR snow here so it is very calming and relaxing and nice for me.
I am so jealous! I would love to spend a week al one in a cabin in the woods. *sigh*
Btw, I haven't hear the work "snowjob" since I was a kid! That made my day!
Is that what doing that is called? I just called it "MOM! HE PUT SNOW DOWN MY BACK AGAIN!!!" I was 5. ^^;;
I'm fascinated by the snow walls. Maybe you have to jump up and down before going out the door to create a sympathetic vibration to avoid the snowjob - i.e. make it fall on purpose first?
So I'm wondering, of course, how you got in to the cabin initially. Helicopter lift? Transporter? Stargate? Friendly talking deer like in Disney movies?
Well, this city girl (originally from New York City and now living near Boston) is loving every single picture and would be freakin' *thrilled* to be alone in a cabin in the woods! Please please -- more pictures of the deer! I simply can't imagine a deer just coming up to my window out of curiosity. The most I ever see are squirrels (and Massachusetts squirrels have the same bad attitude as Canadian squirrels), skunks (more by odor that sight) and an ocassional racoon. Um, and we won't discuss the New York City Subway Tunnel Rats. *shudder*
Snow falling off the roof is a Good Thing, as long as you aren't under it when it happens. Around here, many homes have "roof rakes" where they can reach up and push/pull the snow off of the roof so the weight doesn't collapse the roof or start leaking.
Enjoy your peace, my dear. It will too soon be just a blissful memory.
Barbara L in MA
I have to say for the record that since I've lived in Florida for the last 19 years, I welcome any pictures of that beautiful wintery landscape that you're providing...it's not boring me at all...
I'm so jealous...I hate (despise, loathe, lament, whatever) especially as a knitter, that it's 80 degrees right now...it should be at least in the 60s for goodness's sake!
Keep the pictures coming...absolutely beautiful!
*Love* the pictures of the woods. And the snow. And the trees and the deer and the snow. Please, do *not* stop, they're fantastic! In fact, I have a great desire to have the #2 photo and the deer photo in poster size - along with others from previous posts. They'd go great with the old poster I have on the wall behind the computer...a wolf in blowing snow, staring directly at the camera. Dang, I'm homesick for the Great White North, and I've never even *been* there.
And have I mentioned these Alone posts are great?
I would not want to be in a house walled in by snow, but I certainly want to see the pictures. They are just breathtaking. I can't imagine myself spending time like this though I enjoy sharing these moments with you.
*sigh* Can we trade places for just a couple of days...pleeeeeeze.
Here in Interior Alaska, the metal roof doesn't slide until spring, when the sun and snow actually warm up a little. Maybe late March. But years ago when I lived in Wyoming in a little cabin in the woods (I had to ski in), I woke up very late one Saturday morning because it was still kind of dark in there--although the snow was still on the roof, the snow on the ground had gotten deep enough to meet the snow on the roof, and I was buried all around. I had to dig my way up from the covered porch. I wish for such snow here!