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.