Late Winter: A season all it's own...

The quality of the light in late winter is distinct in my mind. I've felt for a long time that the end of February through early March seems like a season all it's own. It is not spring yet but it doesn't feel like winter anymore. The light is noticeably returning as I can see the time on the clock at 6am without having to turn the light on. The evenings are stretching out so that I see the western horizon line faintly aglow as I look out the window while nursing Kaz to sleep. I am a creature of light and love how the play of seasons and the time of day is forever changing the pallette in which I dwell.

Last Friday I found myself taking the long way home from an outing to the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, MA. The mountains are just a little more dramatic over that way and I loved losing myself on the country roads, passing dairy farms and expansive vistas as I drove higher and higher in elevation. The whites of the snow also became shades of blue, gray and purple as the sky, light and shadows, played across open fields and forested mountainsides.

Another marker to this season, which is other than winter and spring, is the flowing of the sap within the trees. Things are stirring and coming back to life. A highlight of living here in New England is the marking of this time with Maple syrup making. It's been a couple years since we've tapped some of our Maple trees but today we put in six taps and hung from them the metal buckets to collect the sap. We don't make a big production out of this, just a little fun and work which gets us outside with the end result being a quart or two of syrup for morning pancakes and waffles. I look forward to checking the buckets everyday to see if they need emptying and putting a large stock pot full of the sap on the wood stove to eventually be boiled down to the sweet syrup. I find that getting out this time of year is special. The chirping of the chicadees have that beautiful springtime quality, the sun is higher in the sky and shines down a bit stronger.