Well, that a wrap, folks! The year has come full circle and so has this blog. Today marks one year since my first blog in December 2020. It’s time to say goodbye (and good riddance?) to 2021 as we move into the new year. It is also the start of a new season. Winter Solstice marked the beginning of winter here in the northern hemisphere.
Winter in Cape Breton can be challenging (this is what is known as an ‘understatement’) but is also a time of spectacular beauty. While this island is renowned for its brilliant fall foliage, I am even more amazed by winter’s wizardry. So in the spirit of looking forward to the season (because it’s coming – whether we like it or not) here are a few offerings from winter’s art gallery, taken over the years.
I wrote about the rise and fall of L’il pond in Ups and Downs in the Holler. That was summertime, but pond goes up, pond goes down, all the year round. In winter, high water freezes around the trees, leaving them with fancy ice skirts as the water level drops.
Snow snow snow! To borrow from Joni Mitchell, I’ve looked at snow from both sides now. That’s my driveway in 2019 on the top left. The drifts were beautifully carved, but tough to navigate – even on snowshoes! Once I got to the road I had to dig out my car and then dig through the plough bank, only to have the snowplough do another run and fill it back in. Argh! And yet, and yet. I still love snow. It blankets us in beauty and offers up an infinite variety of textures, shadows and light – a feast for the eyes and spirit.
Snow buds blossom, twigs grow crystal leaves, and bare branches dress up in white lace – fleeting beauty that vanishes in the flash of the sun.
Ice art is hard and edgy, all sharp angles and high contrast. Snow art is about softness and curves. Snow blankets the shrubby ground and drapes prickly spruce and twiggy bare branches to create a serene snowscape.
The pond art gallery is always changing the display. One day it was soft, concentric circles and another day it was this jagged black and white mosaic of polygons.
Don’t you love these creations? They look to me like fairy goblets, all ready to flip upside down and fill with a bit of bubbly! Cheers and Happy New Year, Fairy People of the forest!
Well, that’s it for this month. I’m keeping it short and simple today since I’m sure you’re all busy getting dressed up for the Big New Year’s Eve Party! (Hah! Just kidding ;-)
Thank you to all who have visited over the past year. My monthly blog has reflected happenings around the Holler as the seasons rolled by. I wrote about The Secret Lives of Animals as I followed tracks in the snow and mused on April and the Albedo Effect as that snow melted. There were Frogs, Globs, and Pollywogs in the pond and Seagull Dreams by the seaside. There have been plenty of Hoots in the Holler this past year, including surprise visits from My Wild Neighbours.
This blog has given me the opportunity to share my intense love for this place. I will continue to write about life at Highland Holler in 2022, but I’m giving myself a break on the ‘one-blog-per-month’ schedule. It felt way too much like being back in school – always procrastinating in the face of a looming deadline. However, I still have much to share – about fishers, fungi, and cute newts – not to mention more offerings from winter’s wonderful art gallery – so stay tuned in 2022!
Sue McKay Miller
December 31st, 2021
HAPPY NEW YEAR!