Where did that island come from? Winter vision.

Great Head and Sand Beach, a view that will be hidden when the leaves are out.

Great Head and Sand Beach, a view that will be hidden when the leaves are out.

I see things in winter I don’t see any other time of the year, and I don’t mean snow and ice. The leaves are off the trees, the brush and undergrowth of the forest is under snow, and you can simply see further.

Driving along a road that in summer is shady with tall densely leaved oaks has its own sense of wonder, but right now, I can see for miles and miles.

One focuses differently in the winter. There is far-sightedness, an openness that comes with seeing through the trees to the ocean horizon, and to that island, that in summer is hidden from view.

It is a bigger picture. Being on the water in a boat is similar. Both create a sense of having no boundaries.

This winter view is clear and unobstructed. The crow above me has a piece of frozen bread or cookie in its beak. He is tapping it against the branch he sits on–I don’t know why, perhaps to break it. I can see the sun on his feathers, and how he twists his head to tap the bread on different sides.

I can see deer browsing fifty yards deep in the woods, and the granite edge of a trail going up the face of Dorr Mountain.

Birds’ nests that were wisely built into a cover of leaves stand out black and sharp in the crotch of a branch.

We went nest spotting this weekend, finding five or six. Some had begun to fall apart, but they would not be used again anyway.

A few years ago I had taken one of these marvels of engineering to a naturalist to be identified. He refused to hand it back, telling me it is illegal to keep birds’ nests. This nest would soon have been a pile of twigs and grass that would be legal to take. But I had not been aware of the law, and have added it to my list of laws I do not understand, such as you cannot take an outdoor shower in the town of Mount Desert.

It is winter, though, and I do not want to shower outside. I want to see far and wide.

This is my winterview, and my reminder that life, while I am living it, is limitless.


The Beehive near Satterlee Sand Beach

The Beehive near Satterlee Sand Beach, through the trees.


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Karen O. Zimmermann

About Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann savors chance encounters with people throughout the state of Maine, and is endlessly delighted with the tales they have to share.