In recent years I have been asked more than once – what is your favorite season at the farm? Without hesitating I respond, “Why, winter, of course.”
I get unfavorable shaking of heads and negative responses including, “Are you crazy? Winter sucks in the northwest. Only someone suffering from depression would choose winter.”
But I have my reasons for choosing the coldest, wettest and greyest season of the year. First of all, waking up to see the mountain that watches over the farm covered in snow. Glorious. You add the fog lifting from the creek creating streams of swirling clouds, which dance around the mountain, and it’s like you can see the whole winter scape breathing.
I revel in the cold and layers of clothes, warm cozy scarves and wool hats, mittens or gloves depending on your mood, high boots, low
boots, galoshes or crocs. How deep is the puddle today getting down to the creek?
And then there is the creek in winter. Furiously fast, swollen like a snow melted rushing river, rapid water flowing over rocks and logs, roars and splashes, new sandy banks and beaches from the meanderings of a creek gone wild.
It’s lonely but peaceful. The outdoor work of the farm is still months away. It’s the untamed season where everything grows at it’s own pace. The hard work is happening underground. One can find bare bones on their walks – an elk antler from last year’s shed, a salmon vertebrae or a random femur of an animal that was prey. It’s all exposed in the wintertime.
But ask me that question in August when I am splashing in the creek with the grandkids or harvesting the first round of tomatoes, basil and cucumbers and I just might say, “Summer!”