Saturday, December 29, 2012

First Snow of Winter

Planning for a weekend cabin retreat began Friday morning while listening to the weather forecast on the radio. Ohio weather is so unpredictable and few urban areas can predict what will happen in southern Ohio when they forecast weather events. However, Cincinnati meterologist do the best job of predicting what may effect our area so when I heard a prediction of 4-6" of snow east of Cincinnati with a high probability it would hit after dark and last through Saturday mid-day, the level of confidence was high we would get our first significant snow fall of the season.

Immediately after work I took a chainsaw and dropped 3 large locust trees to cut into firewood. Green locust burns slow and hot and it splits easily with a maul. After filling the pickup and delivering it to the cabin, I was able to split enough to fill the porch before dark in preparation of what might arrive.

A trip to the store for bird seed, squirrel food and a stop by the house to pick up Kuma d.o.g. and we were both ready for whatever mother nature could offer. Arriving at the cabin, we found the LP heater had the inside a comfortable 55 degrees even as the night air was heavy with cold moisture as it prepared to release a winter covering. As I filled the feeders, a full moon breaking through cloud cover provided the light for easily navigating between trees and feeders. Our little fur covered friends would appreciate the treat should the snow arrive.

Once a hot fire was built, Kuma settled on a couch cushion with one of her Christmas presents; a rawhide chew bone while I relaxed in the recliner with the remotes and glass of wine. With a library of movies, I chose an old holiday favorite, Gremlins, to watch before bedtime.

Awaking before sunrise and peering outside provided a glimpse of what I've anxiously awaited for months. A heavy wet snow had arrived in the middle of the night and blanketed the forest creating a beautiful winter wonderland. Although the opportunity to sleep in was available, I simply couldn't pass up watching winter's beauty from the cabin windows. After stoking the fires, putting on a pot of coffee and preparing breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, both my big brown dog and I relaxed to enjoy our day stranded and snowed in.

A cast iron kettle of  soup beans seasoned with jowl and homemade corn bread provided a late lunch shared with my companion. Most of the day was wasted napping in the recliner as Sixth Sense and Home Alone failed to hold my attention with such a warm fire at my side.

The morning view provides a first glimpse of winter's arrival.

Front window provides a clear view of the deer lick below
the cabin.

Christmas' tree framed by windows
and a forest covered in snow

Thankful I worked through the pain of age to cut, split and stack firewood
the evening before.

Winter's cabin

Fat and happy Kuma d.o.g.

Road to ManCamp a bit treacherous

The warmth inside awaits

Window view of winter's arrival

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