Dunga Brook Diary

The rural life through the lens of an iPhone and notes from the field…

Archive for snow

Wild Parsnip@12 degrees & Money vs Wild

Wild Parsnip@12 degrees & Money vs Wild

Dunga Brook, 8am, the dogs want out, the wild birds want to be fed, I want coffee but pack on my jacket, boots and gloves instead.

Outside, it is a wintry wonderland of deep blue skies lit by a fierce winter sun already half-way into its daily trajectory…spring is coming, it is inevitable, this repositioning by 8am says it all.

There is a fine frost on every bare branch and twig, making the trees white as ghosts. On the ground, the fresh snow twinkles in delight.

It is cold, I can tell because my iphone shutter is slow as molasses. Chevy has disappeared into the glen, so Plato and I amble to the roadside where the Wild Parsnips stand as tall and as straight as summer, each one coated with rough cut diamonds.

I do a lot of thinking out here. One thought is, what is money when all this beauty is free? Money didn’t make this happen, couldn’t come close to it…then…but money keeps me warm at night thanks to my Harman pellet stove, and money bought my down jacket and touch pad friendly gloves from REI and my Bogs for the army supply store in Herkeimer. I hate money. I love money. Argh.

Iphone in hand (money), I lose myself again to the beauty of central New York’s flora and fauna (free).

Lately, I have been ground up by thoughts of money because money is and has been flowing out faster that it flows in. By an extra long country mile.

One part of me, the Black And White me, feels like my money situation will never get better.

The other part of me, the one who is forever cleaning up after Miss Black And White, understands that hard work and time take care of most things.

This Wild Parsnip in front of me didn’t spring up over night, it took weeks for it to get to its full height of 6 feet. I took its lifetime. It also didn’t crumble up and disappear at the end of its summer season, it stood tall and dispersed seeds so more of it could grow in the spring.

What am I doing? Coaching myself through a rough spot in The Middle Of Nowhere with a Wild Parsnip as a mentor…isn’t that what you’d do?

XO

V

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In The Middle

In The Middle

Tonight, the sky is clear and full of stars. It’s 13 degrees.

I walk with the dogs in the deep fresh snow. In the dark my house seems framed by the milky way, the warm light pouring out onto the snow from the windows doesn’t dim the glow.

Looking up, I see the darker reaches of the universe and I realize that when we die, that’s where we’ll go.

Not bad, I think as I call the dogs back and go inside.

The Boys Play

The Boys Play

Today, the wind is howling. Blue skies, sunshine, snow flying off the trees. Inside, a fire is burning.

Last night, Chevy ran away. The snow was coming down beautifully as I stood in the doorway calling his name. I could hear a bark now and then but I couldn’t stand the cold anymore and closed the door. When I warmed up, I tried again.

It isn’t like him to run away at night. Suddenly, I had visions of finding him in the morning, mauled by coyotes, a death grimace on his face.

I stood in the doorway again with snow falling on my hair, in my ears, on my eyelashes and I called and called and called. Closed the door. Went back and tried again.

I live in the middle of nowhere. Local friends think this is a tedious statement, as if I am embellishing the isolation. Friends who live near towns with neighbors close at hand. The closest town to me is 17 miles away. The closest neighbor is half a mile away.

I am not complaining. I am in love with the middle of nowhere. For years I have been anywhere but the middle. A constant see sawing from left to right then back again. Black and white, no gray. Finally, gray. The exact middle.

I put my layers on, found a flashlight, put Plato on a leash and prepared to go into the dark to find Chevy. My plan was to follow his tracks, they’d lead me to the field behind the house. Possibly into the crumbling barn that used to house a thousand dairy cows. I needed to hurry, before the snow wiped all traces of them away.

Chevy isn’t just any dog, he has, in the past 2 years, become the love of my life. I can’t get enough of his brown eyes, his shiny fur, his confirmation, intelligence, humor, wit. My plan was to go as deep into the dark as I must to find that dog, no matter what the risk.

When I opened the door there he was, smiling, covered with burs, delighted to have been allowed a little extra time in the snow.

Could Sit Here All Day

Could Sit Here All Day

Pondering the Snow Koan

SnowMageddon

Everything in life has led me to this place, this middle of nowhere, beneath the hungry gaze of a wintry behemoth.

We are ready, loaded with food, water, internet, closed cell foam insulation, a pellet stove, bags of pellets in the basement, a generator powered by a gas tank holding a months worth of gas.

Around 4pm the snow finally arrived, sideways. I turned my back to it, watched the dogs fight and shit, one more round of freedom before we hunkered down in the 1820’s farmhouse.

And now that the sun has set there is more to be unseen than seen.

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