Friday, December 27, 2013


Bikes on UVM campus are encased in 1/2" of ice.
A few days before Christmas an ice storm befell northern Vermont. We are fortunate that the air is still and crisp, preserving the fragile beauty—at least for now—even one week later. Ice ladened trees and branches are bowed, heavy; some rest precariously on power lines.

I walk by red-berry filled trees, intending to take branches to decorate holiday vase.
Branches are too fragile. I don't dare disturb them.
There are occasional cyclists negotiating the slushy roads, narrowed drastically from snow plows concerned with clearing only the automobile lanes. To be fair, it becomes a game: plows toss snow onto 3 foot wide city rights of way, burying sidewalk; sidewalk plows cut deep trenches, blocking driveways; residents and hired plows dig themselves out, often piling snow back onto curb edge—there is only so much space to place the snow. This morning I watched a city truck lead a yellow back hoe down our street; it's sole purpose to clear fire hydrants. Such is snow life in New England.

As happens this time of year, I feel sorry for abandoned bicycles left to the elements. Rusted chains, rims, frozen seats age a bike like nothing else can, yet I watch the fearless riders take to the streets studded tires or not. More power to them!

I have skiing on the brain. With 2" of powder barely covering icy backyards, I went out yesterday, immediately loosing balance, falling flat on my back. Hitting the ice made a huge noise (my husband later said he came running to the window because the sound shook the house!). I yelled, of course, laying there for a while staring at blue sky, taking stock of body parts before deciding I would live. Then I went on to enjoy sparkling runs through a shimmering, winter wonderland.

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