Well, I'm finding that this farm is just as wonderfully beautiful in winter as in summer and fall. I'm smitten with this place. It so often reminds me of the farm I lived on in Upstate New York when a girl. I hope my children experience that kinship with nature as I did growing up. I always felt as if I could almost feel things growing, like I could sit on a big, old rock and almost hear it telling me the story of the land, of glaciers and floods, of plows and boys in overalls planting trees, of seedlings and flax crops. I think I've lost some of my imagination, but I can see it alive in my children. They roam the farm and name all the little places they like. There is a group of rocks arranged in a large circle that they call "The Cathedral", a little bit of clear ground overhung by an arch of branches from trees that just happened to grow in two rows that they call "Trinity Church." Grand Grove, the Treehouse, and Muddy Bottom are all places that my children have named and inhabited as their own. They don't have the waterfall and mill and apple orchard and ancient graveyard of my youth, but they have magical places of their own, and sometimes they let me in.
Yesterday we took a hike since deer season is over. We sort of were looking for nuts, as we've been studying the wild foods that Native Americans ate before Europeans came here, but of course the squirrels have hidden them all away in their larders. Instead we found a turtle shell right next to a hole in the ground. A freshly dug, neat little hole into some animals winter home. Maybe a fox or badger? We've been reading Wind in the Willows so the children imagined all sorts of wonderful little furniture and comforts in there, but realized that the turtle probably met an unfortunate end in it's dealings with the inhabitant.