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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The White Album

It seems as if we only take photographs when the ranch is covered with snow. As predicted, we got about 9" from 10 p.m. on Tuesday until early this morning. Yesterday, after plowing the driveway for the first time that day, I strapped on my snowshoes for a mile-and-a-half walk up the first hill. Looking back, I took this photograph of the ranch house from the first switchback of our long driveway. The snow was wet and heavy, and dragging on my snowshoes and the remnants of electrified fencing from last year's grazing season. Up past the barn, long ago taken over by elderberry bushes, now covered in a thick glaze of snow, and down past the peony patch. Nearly 30 years ago, I'd photographed that barn for the first time, it's roof and cupola intact.

When I started snowshoeing two years ago, I was 58, recovering from some surgery that didn't go exactly as planned. But, I was traveling light, getting fitter and enjoying the land in winter, looking at familiar trails in a new way and looking for animal tracks. Now, as a diabetic, I haul around a waist pack with a water bottle and snacks, as well as glucose tablets for a quick boost. At the top of the long drag up to where we one day hope to build a new house, I needed that boost. Amazing how quickly glucose kicks in - and how badly you need it when you figure out you need it. I coasted home and took my sugar - 79 mg/DL. Kerry wondered how low my sugar had been before I took the glucose. A piece of homemade blueberry pie brought me back up. After an hour, it was time to re-plow the lower driveway. Did it again this morning. I hope the person who invented the ATV and detachable plow blade got appropriately rich.

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