Here in the Northwest, winter looks as though it will stay with us for a long time yet, so there is no sense in thinking about an early spring!
Dragon has spent the winter here in my snug den in an old hollow tree. He had been visiting late in the fall and I invited him to stay here with me when we had an early snow storm. I taught him to make vegetable soup, and he has had so much fun that he decided to stay until spring. We ate a lot of vegetable soup this winter.
There arenít very many of my friends to talk to during the winter, as many of them are either hibernating or they sleep much of the day. It is hard for those who still have to hunt for food and water every day. Some of them, the squirrels for instance, plan ahead. They find hole in which to hide summer nuts and grains, and use them carefully all winter. They hope that the Forest Friends who don't plan ahead do not find their secret winter storage place.
I save seeds from weeds and dried berries from summer and fall, and scatter them for birds in winter. Mice can't get through the snow when it is deep, so I let them ride on my feet as I break trails through the snow.
Yesterday I walked up the trail to Favorite Pear Tree. Most folks probably think that pear trees are just quietly waiting in the snow for spring to come. But they are busy building the little nubs on their branches that will grow and swell with what will give the trees the beautiful white pear blossoms that come with spring.
Favorite Pear Tree is doing just fine and there are thousands of tiny nubs quietly growing, even thought it is winter.
I stopped by Frog Pond to talk to Deer. Well, actually several deer! They were thirsty and Frog Pond was frozen over. Even the deer's sharp hooves could not break the ice, so I picked up a rock and dropped it on the ice, which broke. The deer were able to drink from the pond, and soon other animals came to drink. I hope I didn't wake up the frogs that are sleeping deep in the pond waiting for spring.
I must try to remember to come back tomorrow to be certain the pond has not frozen again. Many Forest Friends will need water too, and are not able to break through the thick ice. There are some advantages to being large and strong.
I hear mice squeaking at my door, which means that they are hungry and hoping I will be scattering seeds and dried blackberries. Please write to me and tell me what winter is like where you live.
Melting Icicles and A Warm Fire To You,