Fire and Ice

After The Big Blizzard, the one that dumped 8 or so heavy crusty inches of snow here and 20 or 30 inches elsewhere in New England, I created a folder called “February 2013 Snow” and put all my photos in it.

Now “February 2013 Snow” has three subfolders, one for each February snowstorm. Who knew? Last year one brief January snow had to do for the whole winter. My Yaktrax never came out of the drawer. It’s only February 18 — over a month till the spring equinox. What next?

I like waking up to a world that looks entirely different from when I went to bed.

corridorI walk the same paths several times a week. Other people walk them too. After it snows, it’s as if no human has been that way before. The ordinarily invisible passage of rabbits and cats, though, is revealed to the world.

school whiteout

The West Tisbury School was almost whited out.


Buses in waiting

This February’s storms have fallen mostly on weekends. The kids probably miss having snow days, but they won’t miss having to make them up in June. One of my neighbors goes to school off-island. She missed one day because the boats weren’t running.

running trav

Travvy likes running in the snow. He also likes sleeping on my bed. The late Rhodry Malamutt liked to sleep curled up outside in the falling snow. After a while he’d look like a powdered-sugar doughnut. Travvy sticks his nose out the door. If snow is falling or wind is blowing, he backs up and finds somewhere dry to sleep.

Obligatory fuzzy-butt photo

Obligatory fuzzy-butt photo

snow angel 1Making a snow angel is hard when you’ve got a dog in tow and there’s no one around to help you up. Nevertheless, I gave it my best effort.

Trav wants to bring the branch along.

Trav wants to bring the branch along.

Still trying . . .

Still trying . . .

Trav: Aren't you going to put that camera away and help?Me: No.

Trav: Aren’t you going to put that camera away and help?
Me: No.

Snow creates the world anew, but the end of this particular day was pretty spectacular.

from deck

After Trav finished his supper — when it comes to Trav and food, “in the blink of an eye” can be taken almost literally — we headed out for a walk. One look at the sky and I went back for my point-and-shoot.

baileys house

sunset 1sunset 2

And probably my favorite of all . . .sunset windowThis is last night’s sunset reflected in my west-facing window. Memo to self: When leaving the house, it’s OK to look back. You won’t turn into a pillar of salt, and you won’t get stuck with Hades.

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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4 Responses to Fire and Ice

  1. Anda Divine says:

    Also, as a Red Cross disaster responder who just last night had to assist another family displaced by a house fire, I felt my my stomach knot at your final, powerful image.


    • It’s a bad time of year for house fires. That image grabs me. It recalls the title of one of Diane Duane’s fantasy novels, The Door into Sunset. Only this is the window into sunset. There’s another world inside that window.


  2. Anda Divine says:

    “The late Rhodry Malamutt liked to sleep curled up outside in the falling snow. After a while he’d look like a powdered-sugar doughnut.”

    From the late 1970s to the mid 1980s I raised sheep at my Sweetwater Farm in NW Wisconsin. One hundred and fifty ewes and half a dozen rams gave me about 225 lambs every spring. The worst snow event I (we) endured was a four-day blizzard in 1981, which hit -40 with 30-mph winds (bringing the window chill down to -80 or so) and ultimately drifted snow completely over my full-size pickup. Even though the sheep had free access to my ample barn, most of them preferred to stay outside through all of it. Every morning the white-blanketed barnyard was full of silent, immobile humps that slooooowly began to move, until I was quickly mobbed at the grain troughs. The sheep generated so much heat under that insulating snow that their sleep spaces would steam once they were bared. That was in a February, as I recall.

    I am way too old for that kind of work now.


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