Monday, December 5, 2011

It’s December 5th. Winter is well on the way. But it doesn’t seem like winter. It hasn’t snowed yet—an appreciable fall, I mean. The winters I remember from the times when I was a boy began earlier. This may sound like a standard tale older people tell children about how hard they had it when they were young—eight foot snow drifts and walking to school in the frost of morning and all that. But this isn’t a tale of hardship, simply of observation.

Many years ago when I was young, I loved hunting and in those days the small game season began on November 1st, no matter on what day of the week that fell. The season lasted until December 1st and before that season was half over, and certainly before Thanksgiving, there was snow on the ground. And I mean SNOW. Not just a dusting. Snow that piled an inch or two or three on the ground and clung to branches and covered roofs and had to be shoveled off drives and plowed from roads. There were times when I tracked rabbits or pheasants by the trails they left in the snow. That wasn’t a really productive way to hunt but it was fun.

It isn’t that way anymore. Over the years I’ve found that snows don’t come as early as they used to. There are years with exceptions, of course and there is an uncertainty inherent with memory, but I’m fairly certain that I am right. We do not generally have snows as we used to. I’m not sure I would wish such snows back. There is comfort in not having to deal with their negative qualities. I wouldn’t mind if warm weather continued right on through until spring when consistent warm weather returned with singing birds and blooming flowers.

But if that happened I would probably really miss the snows. Ah, well, are we—am I—ever totally satisfied?

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