Monday, December 24, 2007

Solstice Thunder, solstice moon

Although we have had a few frosty nights,  most days this winter have been gloomy damp and 50 degrees, unseasonably warm.

There was one afternoon in the upper 30's  when the sky spit tiny pellets that whitened the warm ground for 20 minutes or so and then the wind picked up and the holler dissolved back into gray.

The new little pond has taught me many things already.


Despite a frosty night before, a 54 degree day is all the same as the 54 degree water to a green frog.



Red spotted newts move along the leaf littered plant zone of the pond, and frogs sit on the log, looking cold and rubbery as I tuck my sweater tighter around me...this does not fit with my image of what frogs and newts do in December.



     I consider the winter solstice to be a few day affair, not just the longest night itself, but the days and nights on either side of it. Even if I have lost track of the calendar (which I often do) I always "feel" this turning point, little signs seem more auspicious, I eye my dwindling firewood pile, I light more candles, feel the need to do something sacred with a pine cone or acorn, find my hands unconsciously forming a honeysuckle wreath from a vine  pulled randomly while bird walking.

The solstice is a good time to go home and be with my family, their house and hearts are warm. This visit finds my mom and I standing just outside the back door in the dark, in nightgown and robe, amazed by the gusting high winds, the clouds racing across the moon as if it were Halloween instead of almost Christmas. I ask her where her ladder is, as I want to climb up to the second level of their solar house and fix a wind slapping window, and she says, wait till morning. Then we both say,in unison and incredulously, "Is that thunder?!"

Yes, solstice thunder, no rain, just rumbling and blowing and more blowing and rattling.

Next night I am back in the holler and feel like a child given a special  solstice treat when the "long winter moon" rises up over the eastern hill, bright enough to read by, even though there is no snow cover.  moon 

And there is mars! dangling beneath it like a lovely Christmas ornament.  I hope you all saw that! 



cyndy December 26, 2007 at 4:05 PM  

Great Photo!

You even got the pink tint of Mars!

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