We are now totally in the grip of winter. It is a gentle, beautiful vice of magical, glittering diamond sharp snow that surrounds us. Already, we have more snow than we have had in November in years. The temperature is hovering around -20 Celsius - the perfect temperature for winter. At these temperatures, the roads are not slippery and we know we have to dress properly or we will freeze. The rivers and lakes are making strong, rock hard ice as I write and soon it will be time to drag the ice fishing shacks out to the frozen water bodies.
I woke this morning to the kind of sharp frosty air that pulls at your nose hairs when you inhale too fast. Unfortunately, I had to stay home sick with a wicked sore throat. That was the downside...but the upside is that I can enjoy the lovely view from my window. The sun is shining brightly through the absolutely clear morning air, the kind of crystal clear air that you only get when the temperatures fall. The hoar frost is thick on the trees and there is a gentle wind that is just starting to blow it off. It falls through the sunlight like magical crystals, fairy dust that flashes cheekily as it twirls and rotates in a happy eccentric dance to the ground.
I can see Squirrely Magirly hopping along the fence and then pausing. She digs daintily in the snow until she unearths a treasure. It is a small pinecone that she gives a decisive shake to. Now she starts to peel away the layers to get to the delicious pine nuts at the base of each cone scale. The dog is going nuts inside because she can see her on the fence but Squirrely Magirly remains completely unperturbed as she snacks away in the sun.
And to think I would have missed all this if I wasn't at home sick!