It's hard to believe the difference a week can make weatherwise. Last Monday we trudged around the woods and fields of Middlewood through six inches of snow. The heavy wet snow broke limbs, brought down trees, and interrupted power service for exactly three days. Record cold temps dropped to the teens at night through the week. It gradually warmed, and yesterday and today have been hot and sunny - temps in the eighties, butterflies flitting about, the dogs panting under their winter-thick fur.
Yesterday, Radu and I hiked out to the pipeline late in the afternoon, around 6:00. The sun was still warm then, but the shadows were considerably cooler, especially when a wind gust would blow in from the west. By gauging how much room the sun had left before disappearing, I found a sunny spot to sit and draw. I had about 45 minutes before the sun dipped behind tall pines along the pipeline's edge. Radu settled beside me as I drew the miniature pine tree that grew at my feet. The pale grass curled and looped in a beautiful way, but it was hard to see in the dying light. The wind blew my hair about, and Pileated Woodpeckers called occasionally from two directions. I could hear Spring Peepers and Chorus Frogs in a nearby wetland.
The big news at Middlewood is our new canine addition, Daisy. She's 10 weeks old and very interested in doing anything her mom and Radu want to do. She has already hiked with us to the end of the pipeline and back, which is a long way for a puppy, but she seemed to enjoy it. Meetinghouse Creek gave her pause, though. It was obvious she'd never seen such a thing as a creek. She also stopped to investigate every pine tree brought down by last week's snow. She gnawed on bare limbs, sniffed pungent needles, and swatted at pine cones. Everything in a puppy's world is so fascinating!
Check out Daisy's photos on right.