Everyone is all dressed in white. I almost expect to see the Ice Queen emerge from the forest, making a grand entrance from one of the many openings created by the bowed trees. She has opted to send the Snowflake Fairies in her place instead. The tiniest flakes are falling - drifting lazily, effortlessly - touching down in silence. They glide in on graceful wings, each different from the last, their uniqueness making them all the more beautiful.
The Snowflake Fairies
The forest looks alternately enchanted and eerie. The trees are arched in unnatural positions, some bent almost in half, and seem unsure whether to welcome you with their outstretched arms or whether to warn you that they could snap without warning under the strain. The clogged branches limit visibility from our house to the road. They even limit visibility of the sky. It's a unique feeling, having the trees bearing down on you in this way - a feeling that would likely be unwelcome to a claustrophobe. The beech and oak trees weep the most, their stubbornly leafed branches draping gracefully toward the ground. Most are resilient and will spring back when the thaw begins. Others, though, especially the fragile Redbuds, may not fare as well.
Trees bend down to block out the sky
What must the birds think of all this... mess? One might think that the drooping branches would interfere with their flight patterns, but apparently they do not. Even though I cannot spot them from afar as easily as usual, they seem to have no trouble navigating this modified landscape. Their focus is singular: food. Or more broadly defined: survival. They have no storm team forecasters in their midst (that we know of), so they have to get as much nourishment as they can find as quickly as possible. For all they know, the seed and suet will run out tomorrow and the snow could be around for an eternity, so eat up!
The landscape is monochrome, painted in shades of white and gray. Cloud-filled skies, dark and dreary, offer an odd contrast to the brightly flocked trees. The trunks and branches of the shrubs and trees offer welcome breaks of color amidst the sea of white. As one approaches the flora, hints of other colors become apparent. Vibrant moss, lichen and fungi remind us that, despite the seemingly void feeling of this bleak winterscape, things are very much alive. And very much beautiful.