The Tail End of Winter

Coming home from a trip Sunday evening we took note of a herd of deer wandering among the Angus cattle at a nearby ranch, helping themselves to the round bales of hay set out for their bovine neighbors.  This is unusual; normally deer won’t frequent a pasture where cattle roam free.  Coming home from the city Monday I saw them there again, at least twenty of them.

One of the other ladies at our meeting was saying that the deer are staying in the open now. We had so much snow two weeks ago that the woods have been filled in with big banks, packed hard, so the deer aren’t able to roam or graze and they’re hungry. Hay bales offered so freely are tempting enough that they’re willing to set aside natural prejudices.

I saw a dozen Canada geese go over this morning, too. One wishes the weather were more welcoming; this morning it was -12C, supposedly getting up to 0 (32F) On Monday it was -18 at 7am.  Brrr!

I think right now this is the song every living thing in this area is singing:

GOD-SPEED TO THE SNOW
by Archibald Lampman

March is slain; the keen winds fly;
Nothing more is thine to do;
April kisses thee good-bye;
Thou must haste and follow too;
Silent friend that guarded well
Withered things to make us glad,
Shyest friend that could not tell
Half the kindly thought he had.
Haste thee, speed thee, O kind snow;
Down the dripping valleys go,
From the fields and gleaming meadows,
Where the slaying hours behold thee,
From the forests whose slim shadows,
Brown and leafless cannot fold thee,
Through the cedar lands aflame
With gold light that cleaves and quivers,
Songs that winter may not tame,
Drone of pines and laugh of rivers.
May thy passing joyous be
To thy father, the great sea,
For the sun is getting stronger;
Earth hath need of thee no longer;
Go, kind snow, God-speed to thee!

 

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