Friday, December 31, 2010

A Winter Walk

In the fading light of afternoon, 
we head out for a wander in the forest. 
The first heavy snow fell over the weekend, 
which means I break trail for Pasha.

Up and down the trees he goes.

Wild-eyed and grateful for sharp claws and rough bark, 
and the chance to run trails in the deep wood. 

We pass the tracks of the large, male fisher
reminding us of how wild this forest is.  
The tracks are relatively fresh, and I notice
an immediate shift in Pasha - and in myself. 
We are both aware of just how dangerous 
an encounter with the fisher would be for him. 

Life eats life, and so it is. The wild beauty here 
reminds me daily of this. 

Long shadows through a young, wispy hemlock.

I glimpse the house through the 
trees and pretend I've traveled far through  
the enchanted forest. I'm sure that
an old, bent woman will greet me 
at the door - wide eyed 
and crooked toothed -
and tell me she 
has been expecting me.  

Instead of the old woman, we notice 
that the fisher has visited sometime not so long ago. 
He wandered around very close to the house
writing beautifully in the snow. Probably he passes 
through a lot, but the snow reveals his travels, 
and the reason that Pasha seems on such high alert today. 

The front stoop dressed up for Yule.

I tuck Pasha safe inside and head out 
to view the sunset.  

Coming home to a warm glow, but still no old woman... 
well, of course, someday the old woman will be me!


steven said...

valerianna - the woodland ways are magical to me and i am truly grateful for the sensitivty you have and share here. i wish a fruitful and creative continuation of the journey you've embarked on in the coming year. steven

Umā said...

Looking at that photo of your beautiful winter doorway has inspired me to break down and buy a strand of white solar-powered led lights that are on sale at I may have missed the holidays, but there's still a lot of winter nights left, and I'd love to come home to a sight like that.

We went snowshoeing today, but they were hardly necessary - it was already bare in some spots!

Happy New Year!

Valerianna said...

Steven -thanks! Abundant and creative year to you as well.

m. - solar power is a bit challenging for me tucked away under the trees here, otherwise, I'd head over to realgoods as well. I love snowshoeing, didn't quite need them today as you way, but those crampons are useful in most woodland walks!

A mermaid in the attic said...

Beautiful and inspiring as always, Valerianna, and lovely to see you too. I long to wander through the bush and see the tracks of passing four-footed neighbours. This year will be the year, I think! Happy New Year to you and all your family.

stregata said...

Wishing you a New Year full of health, happiness and magic.
Fishers are quite common in populated areas here - they have a decided weakness for chewing on tubing in cars.

Julia said...

happy new year to you! love the pictures.

stregata said...

Blogger is doing strange things.
In case my first comment was devoured by the virtual void -
Wishing you a wonderful New Year full of health, happiness and magic.

kd said...

Beautiful: loved the walk you and Pasha let us share and learning about the fisher. There are so many four-footeds on this continent I still know nothing about. All blessings and peace to your and yours in 2011

Penny Berens said...

You have reminded me of three years ago when my pups were tiny, I would break trails for them and accompany them on every outing in case a fisher or coyote was about. I love the winter because it is so much easier to see when the critters have come by to visit. Thank you for sharing your trail through the woods.


greetings valerianna - i've only just now wandered into your magical forest here and find that i cannot leave such beauty and intrigue - and so, i shall follow along the trail here - and there - frolicking through your magnificent creations as i go - gypsy

Gwen Buchanan said...

Happy New Valerianna, beautiful setting.... if the snow continues you will have a full time job breaking trails, good exercise tho.... your front entry looks so inviting!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

opps!! ... New "Year", that is!!

Tammie Lee said...

lovely to have a glimpse into your world.
yes, nature is beautiful in endless ways, but also to be respected and wise about, eh.
Such a lovely kitty you have and wonderful see you and your sunset.

Wishing you a marvelous 2011~

illustration poetry said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jasmine said...

Enchanting! You are so lucky to have bears. Happy New year to you xJ

Pretty Things said...

Your cat is absolutely gorgeous, as are your photos!

jude said...

a lovely walk. thank you.

Fleur said...

your cat looks so adorable! just like a little hunter haha :)
and that wood looks just magical. but everything looks magical when it has snowed, right?

Reading Tea Leaves said...

Pasha is a beautiful cat and looks totally at home in the forest. What adventures he must enjoy!!

Your front door looks very cosy and welcoming and we get to see a glimpse of you too:-) Thank you for sharing such a magical place and inviting us along on your creative journey Valeriana. I look forward to seeing what enfolds for you in 2011.

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Nice post.

ramona said...

And what a beautiful old woman you shall be!
I too have been dreaming of old women in the woods.
Here's to bent old women, shadowy hemlock forests, elusive woodland creatures and four legged friends with soft pads!

Acornmoon said...

Happy New Year to you and Pasha.

chicory cottage said...

wonderful photos...happy new year to both you and Pasha

Rowan said...

A lovely set of photographs, I was interested to read about the fisher as I've never heard of them before. It's an odd name for an animal that doesn't, apparently, catch fish:) I wonder how they came by the name. Next time I'm in New Hampshire I must ask my friend whether there are any around her area.

Valerianna said...

mermaid - I DO hope its this year! I look forward to seeing where it is you land and learning about your nature....

Stregata- Yikes, I've never heard of fishers doing that around here, I hope they don't!

KD- thanks, and good luck learning about the critters, I've been studying them my whole life and still have so much to learn!

Penny - It is wonderful to read all that goes on in the snow!

gypsy - hope you enjoyed your frolick... thanks for stopping by.

Gwenn - Yes, if we ever get significant snow this year ( we are quite low on it at present) I will put on the snowshoes and pack a good trail, then Pasha races on ahead. He likes to be the leader.

Tammie Lee- I do think Pasha is quite a lovely kitty, I appreciate his wildness!

sympathy - same to you!!

Jasmine - all the bears are tucked in dreaming in their dens right now.... sometimes I feel like curling up with one!

Pretty Things - thanks - and Pasha thanks you, too.

Fleur - Absolutely agree, nothing like snow to add to the enchantment.

Jeanne - I like my front door a lot this year... and especially with Pasha hanging out on the steps, a perfect welcome.

Ian - thanks for stopping.

Ramona - yes, to ALL of that!

acornmoon - Happy New Year to you and all your magical creatures!

chicory cottage - thank you!

Rowan - I've wondered about the fisher's name... and that a lot of people call them "fisher cats" and they are weasels, NOT cats! Its most likely that your friend in NH has fishers around, they are quite common in these parts and making a real comeback.

stephanie dosen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephanie dosen said...

you are beautiful :)
you look magic!
but i already knew that you were.
i hope you dont mind,
i have a few of your spirals in my
screensaver. i keep them rotating
so that i can see them and spiral down to the pinpoint of peace.
they are absolutely perfect for that.
thank you again for sharing them with us.
what you have done has been a blessed gift to me.

Valerianna said...

faerie finder - thanks! And I'm glad that you have a few spirals in your screensaver, I'm happy you appreciate them so. Sometimes I feel magic, that day, after walking with my magic kitty, I felt magic!

*❀* said...

oh such beauty!

and and magic cat =^.^=

rivergardenstudio said...

what a beautiful winter walk... I love the tracks in the snow and the photograph of you and your amazing cat. roxanne

layers said...

I like your phrase - soul dreaming- going on a wonderful winter walk and filling up with visual stories- renews and replenishes for more creative work.