Sunday, November 21, 2010

November Ice

For the past three days nighttime temperatures have dipped below freezing. The sun is low in the sky. The days are shorter, and, despite warmer daytime temperatures, ice is forming. You see it around the edges of ponds and along protected river shorelines. The ice is thin and irregular, but with each passing cold night it creeps farther offshore into deeper water.

Ice forms on the backwaters of the Exeter River

On our walk Kodi pounces on mud puddles that froze over during the night. He is startled at first by the breaking of ice. Then ice becomes the new normal and he moves on, in search of the next smell or movement. After leaf fall, the presence of ice foreshadows the approaching winter. It tells of cold nights and signals a time to slow down, to give thanks. Kodi, who lives in the moment, trots quickly on - no slowing, although he surely appreciates being outdoors. There is a skip in his step and a twinkle in his eyes. I move more slowly, pausing to admire the ice formations and to absorb the warmth of the low morning sun. It will be many months now before the river shakes free of its icy shores. November ice is here and winter is creeping in. 

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