winter’s choreography

As the first snow of January comes whirling down, I snuggle into my reading chair with a cozy lap robe, a good book, and a cup of tea. Words spin across the page and leap into my imagination; glancing up, I catch glimpses of a white-flaked, wind-wafted winter waltz.

Time pirouettes by. . .

When the snow subsides and driveway, deck and sidewalks are dutifully cleared, I slip into the backyard to search our snow-swept hill for further traces of winter’s choreography.

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A white-throated sparrow has left behind a delicate diagram of her latest exploratory movements.


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In search of fallen seed, the raccoons perform their slow circle dance across the frozen floor of our shade garden.


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Dressed in her drab winter leotard, a tiny goldfinch pauses at the bird bath to recall the golden fragments of a midsummer gavotte.


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A white-tailed deer meets my gaze. She freezes, then arcs into an elegant arabesque and bounds away. . .

And my wild woodland heart dances after her.

16 thoughts on “winter’s choreography

    • Thank you, Jama! I love hearing you have a family of foxes living near you. Have you seen fox kits in the spring?

      We see foxes occasionally in winter but don’t spot them every year. One summer evening after sunset, a fox sat in our neighbor’s yard, barking and yipping – a wild, eerie sound. We were never sure what all the barking was about and never heard it again. We couldn’t see the little fellow, as he was hidden in the shadows. But I guessed it was a fox and Googled a fox’s bark – and sure enough, that’s what it was! I love learning about woodland creatures. xox

      • Yes, we’ve seen kits in the Spring. Sooooo cute. I love that foxes are very familial –we’ll often see several at once, whereas the other animals are pretty solitary. And the fox bark sounds really strange — like a dog with laryngitis :).

    • Thank you so much, Tamara! I love discovering delicate bird tracks in the snow, too.

      Many years ago when we were trekking through the snowy woods with our children, we startled a field mouse from his hidey-hole. He left minuscule paw prints and a long, slender tail-track behind as he scrambled for a new place to hide. It had never occurred to me before how cold a poor little field mouse’s tail must get in the winter! xo

  1. Lovely Amy in words and photographs. Your way with words always takes my breath away. You are such a gifted writer, and, of course, your subject matter is close to my heart too. I loved the line “Dressed in her drab winter leotard, a tiny goldfinch pauses…” Wonderful image of a goldfinch in a leotard. It’s such a juxtaposition of thought but makes perfect sense. I repeat, “I LOVE YOUR WRITING!” Thank you for bringing such delight to a cold, cold day in NE.

    • I love that we share a mutual deep affection for nature, Maude, my dear kindred! As I pulled this little post together, I had fun playing around with dance terminology – that’s what made me imagine the goldfinch in a leotard. The bird bath became for me the metaphorical mirror at the barre.

      Your kindness has warmed my heart and this cold winter’s day. Blessings and love to you always~ xoxo

  2. i treasure your wild woodland heart. treasure, as in hold up to the light and behold its intricate beauties and the myriad ways it reflects and refracts the light…..

    • I delight in the perpetual prism-light of your wondrous way with words, my lovely friend, and bask in the rays of your sweet loving-kindness. Warmest hugs to you~ xoxo

  3. Poetry in word and image. Your writing always refreshes my spirit, Amy. As the snow falls outside my own New Hampshire window, I watch a bright cardinal at the feeder and see him as a bit more than a colorful winter bird — he is a principal dancer in this morning’s ballet. Thank you for that !

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