It’s coming. The weatherman says our first snowfall is on its way — but he didn’t have to go to the trouble. Everyone already knows.The sky is a strange, soft gray, giving the fall leaves an unearthly glow.
Our chickens are gobbling down as much feed as possible (not to mention chasing fellow hens, just in case they’ve got a juicy worm in beak). Our garden beds, with wilting zucchini and bean vines, newly-uncovered from their protective netting, are fair game. The chickens pull at tender bits of leaves and vine, fluff their feathers and strut around, seemingly unconcerned. I know, though, that they’ll make a beeline for the warm straw of the coop, the minute it starts to get thick outside.
Time for the first snowfall of the season — the one that announces, whether you like it or not, that fall is only temporary. Get ready, the sky says. More on the way.
The hummingbirds are long gone, to warmer temperatures. They crossed paths with the chickadees, who are busily demanding their rights to the birdseed, especially sunflower seed, from the magpies and bluejays who crowd around them. (The sparrows hang out on the periphery, keeping quiet and hoping for leftovers.)
The dogs stop and stare wistfully into the sky. I do, too. The dogs whine. Isn’t it time to go inside, Mom? But I still have things to do. Can everything get put away before the snow hides it into temporary oblivion? A wheelbarrow of stovewood is pushed nearer to the back door, and the pumpkins stashed in the garage, where they (hopefully) won’t freeze. Clothes are pulled off the line, before they morph stiffly into odd shapes.
Brrr…temperatures are dropping. One last look at the garden plants — what’s left, anyways. A final check of the darkening sky. A quick flake drops down, as if anxious to get started, then another and another. The light of the house beckons, along with the thought of a cheerful blaze soon crackling in the fireplace.
Time for soup, strong coffee and our customary way to celebrate the first white stuff.
For each person:
- One large scoop of vanilla-based ice cream, preferably in a silver dish.
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts, then drizzle over green creme de menthe.
- Finish off with a snowy drift of coconut,
- Top with a puff of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
Enjoy. After all, winter’s coming.