We drive through the little valley below Jefferson’s Monticello every day. Up above Monticello, along the ridge of Carter’s Mountain, is an orchard and vineyard with wide views of the Piedmont to the East and the Blue Ridge to the West. We’ve been going there since the kids were small, picking warm peaches in summer, pumpkins for Halloween, then apples and cider right up to first snows. In Spring, cycles of bloom sweep over the ridge like vast, slow moving clouds, starting first with the cherries. Continue reading “Mountain Orchards”
It came down all day and all night, whistling in the chimney, blowing in under the eaves, onto the porch and woodpile. And down collars. The wet kind, that sticks to limbs and bark and poles and wire.
The maples are already in bud, and the narcissus and daffodils are up, now all pushing up snow.
Only three weeks ‘til Spring.
First mark of Winter.
In just a week or so, a flock of robins will be here, and will spend a few days stripping the Holly tree of berries. They’ll start at the top and slowly work their way down, leaving no berries behind. Then they’ll leave.
But for now, the berries are glazed with ice.
Days grow longer by increments now. Light, gaining strength, lingers on the rim of hills a bit longer each evening, before slipping back down to black. Some nights the twilight spreads all the way around the horizon, like a red hem on winter‘s star-sequined gown.
Took some photos on the way home, shivering, so cold I couldn’t feel my finger on the shutter.
Cattails in winter twilight
It’s been really cold lately. On Saturday, when I went down to the shop, it was 4 below. I don’t remember it being that cold here. In other parts of the country, New England and the Midwest, it dipped into the -30’s. My folks marveled it was snowing at the beach in South Carolina.
There’s a mountain ridge, runs southwest to northeast. It’s where the bad weather comes from, a shoulder against winter. Wet and cold spill over the rim in slow motion, flowing down through the bare tree tops into hollows and coves, where houses are huddled inside by fires to keep warm.
All week the ridgeline has been hidden by low clouds, clear below; clouds that sometimes rain, sometimes mist, later sleet or snow, but never much.
The top of the ridge could be gone. Maybe it will just be changed somehow, and we won’t know what is different, it will just feel different. I saw a fox this morning, and an owl last night. Both had somewhere to go.