It has been a very snowy and cold December in Rangeley this year! Last year in December there was only a touch of snow on the ground for most of the month but this year we have several feet of good settled snow around camp! It has been excellent for tracking animals around the camp, skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating and building snowmen.
Just after Christmas I pulled into camp in the dark, my headlight beams illuminating freshly plowed snowbanks around the driveway. I shut the engine off and opened my car door to a rush of cold air. My feet squeaked on the dry snow as I stepped out of the car. It was clear and quiet and my breath puffed from my mouth in a cloud as I exhaled. Nothing stirred in the cold snowy night. On quiet nights like these the dry snow seems to amplify any little sound. I stood for a while taking in the night and enjoying the stillness. Suddenly a little vole ran between my feet and off into the woods! There has been a constant crisscross of animal tracks all around camp: snowshoe hare, voles, mice, deer, and fox are the most common.
It had snowed at least a foot since I had last shoveled the steps and I dug my way into the porch and built a fire in the woodstove. With a warm fire heating the house I pulled the blankets snug around my chin and drifted into sleep eager to play in all the new snow in the coming days.