Scaffold Snow

Coming back from the bog, my face is stiff with ‘frozen breath of the north’ style wind. It’s more of a Jan-Feb feeling than March-April. Melting has halted altogether it appears. And yet the season progresses.

Anything dark has worn deep ruts and dents and holes into the snow with the heat of the March sun. Trees, leaves, pine needles, even the shadows of the hooves of deer that bounded across the stark expanse have left craters of note. Sunflower seed castings thickly spilled by a winter’s worth of hungry birds are now on bare ground. The dead owl in the woods appears to have nestled into a shallow snow grave.

On the bog, small holes assiduously maintained by beavers on inspection rounds have frozen over again and again and yet caught enough heat to melt large patches of snow, surrounded by stinky green strands of discarded beaver-pelt algae, also frozen into deep gashes. There’s ice on water on ice on water on ice ever expanding.

This is the season of rotting snow. But not this year. Rather than melting, and even beyond sublimation, the snow seems to be drying into itself as water flees, even when a few fresh flakes wetly settle they freeze into the tiny scaffolding of handmade lace covering an antique white satin bridal gown.

It reminds me of nothing so much as the drying up and stiffening of the very old into nothingness.

But it ain’t gone at all. In places there’s eighteens inches yet. This is how glaciers are born of course. More and more snow doesn’t quite melt during the summer only to pile into ever denser layers of bluer and bluer ice until it even looks like stone. Like ever more cells bundling up together in the innocent-sounding process of hyperplasia that results in cancer. Not that I would liken glaciers to cancer — but then, they did seem sort of implacable and ominous and ever advancing until they started to retreat and thin out themselves as ever more people living ever more densely together would not go away.

Geez, how did I get here? I went out for a dose of fresh, oxygenated air, enough to hit the keyboard and screen for another couple of hours, and look what I came back with…

No sap today. It’s hard to believe all of this will be largely gone in a month.

Here are some pictures of tatted, drying scaffold snow and re-re-refrozen ice

Tell me what you think!