Sijo is always eager to be outdoors in the snow, so we "geared up" together and headed to the marsh in the southeast corner of the property. Our walk took us under Senryu's willow, through the cattails, and then up the eastern hill that divides our property from our neighbors. This old fence post marks the dividing line. The wire fence has long since fallen into disuse; cattle no longer graze this former bit of pasture where our house and gardens sit. We cross this border comfortably. I've written here before about how graciously these neighbors allow us to wander at will on their extensive acres, for which we are so grateful.
Few trees grew on this hill when we moved here, over twelve years ago. Nibbling cows kept the fields nicely "mown" and seedling trees didn't have a chance to grow tall. In the years since we've moved here, the birch trees behind the old fence have scattered seeds onto our hillside. A few young slender birches grow here now.
Withered blue berries cling to viburnam branches and the stalks of wildflowers rise up through the snow. Fallen leaves, some still green, lie beneath bare branches amid scattered seeds. And here I've found what I was looking for, that "poetry of the turn of the seasons" that Ray Stannard Baker wrote about. Summer's green is still hinted at in the fallen leaf. Winter's approach is evident in the fallen snow.
I had some companions on my stroll: Sijo, Maude, Arwen and Tag.
All photos by Aisling, November 23, 2008 ...(photo of Tag "equalized" with photo editing, because it was taken in shadows.)