Pine frost

Pine frost

When you tiptoe outside in the early October dawn, with sunrise temperatures below freezing, frost meets your sleepy eyes.

Frost thick on car windshields.  Frost atop the remaining garden carrots and kale and beets.  Frost ice-searing the edges of autumn leaves.

Leaf frost

Leaf frost

You shiver in your winter coat, burrowing deeper into mittens and beneath knitted hat.  Your breath spirals in smoke-vapor trails.  The frost crunches thick beneath your sneakers or boots.  As you walk among the plants, it melts oh-so-quickly and your jeans get soaked in two minutes.  You don’t mind, wandering in a world of crisp-white beauty.

Fields of frost

Fields of frost

It’s not light enough to truly take pictures until after 9 a.m.  Yes, the sun rises earlier.  But, no, the light refuses to illuminate until the magic hour.  You must capture frost at its dawn zenith.  Not too soon, not too late.  Timing is everything.  Just like in our human lives.

Fern frost

Fern frost

Frost is the harbinger of snow around here.  Frost speaks a language that the squirrels and deer and birds and mice understand.  They scramble to finish preparations.  They know their fattening-up days are limited.  The wolves bay at the moon, talking to frost gods.  The owls hoot, exchanging wisdom.  The humans stoke their fires and linger inside.  They remember ice in the marrow of their bones.  But it does no good to push it yonder.  Winter comes.

Lacy green feather-frost

Lacy green feather-frost

It’s almost time to trek home to that warm kitchen.  Breakfast simmers on the stove:  hearty grains, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, almonds, coconut, blueberries.  What a delight to wander home after the frost-walk!  Cheeks rosy and yet body warm after the hike, you open the door and return inside.  A chickadee chirps its sweet winter call from near the garden, requesting sunflower seeds. 

“Not yet,” you say.  “We’ll put up the feeder soon, when the garden is empty.”

The chickadee flutters to the spruce tree.  Another good day. And it’s not even 10 a.m.

Frost on yellow leaves

Frost on yellow leaves

Advertisements