A steady stream of fluffy white flakes are falling covering my tracks in the yard and the branches of my favorite birch tree. The new snow outlines the shape of each twisting bare branch and sticks to the dark needles of the fir trees by the woodshed. Winter has arrived in full force in Rangeley and we are in the swing of things at Red Quill Camp— shoveling the steps, feeding the Chickadee’s and tracking the deer.
Yesterday I pulled into the driveway and saw about two dozen deer snap to attention in the yard—their eyes tracking me. Their healthy winter coats were dark against the snow and the breath from their nostrils steamed in the cold mid-day air. The alpha flicked his tail and instantly they all bolted into the woods.
Like the deer watching me in the yard, we had been watching the ski waiting for winter snow to arrive and it finally has. It was a slow start to the winter but now there is still plenty of snow for snowmobiling, skiing, building snowmen and tracking the wildlife. It’s either been unseasonable warm or glass-shattering cold this winter. Only the toughest of Mainers are bundled up today to go out on their ski’s or sleds and most are huddled by the fire listening to the wind howl outside. It’s predicted to be a low of -22° tonight and -40° with the wind chill, and just last week it was 45°!
We take what we can, playing in the snow when it’s here, taking advantage of the good winter days to skin up the mountain and ski down, or snowshoe through the woods and track the animals around camp.