We are now engulfed in the shortest days of the year. The sun makes its short arc through the southern sky, its weak rays only feebly raising each day’s temperature. The land rests and so do many of its creatures. It is a time of dormancy, a time of divestment; any vegetables are either canned, frozen, or in some type of cold storage. The waterfowl have long ago left our northern habitats, and a percentage of our other wild game has either hibernated, been killed by predators, or are congregated quite dormant in someone’s deep-freeze.
Fields rest, tillage equipment is stored in metal sheds, and even we hardy flyover folks spend more time than usual indoors. Fishermen who roam our waters in boats during the summer are now confined to a 10 inch-hole in the ice, hoping the not- quite- dormant fish will commute to their location. The time of the fish house, the den of the semi-dormant fishermen, is now here.
Having just gone through a fairly long period of subzero weather, we are relieved to see the temperatures go above the zero mark. Our lethargic inclinations are subdued a bit, and we ski and snowmobile our way out of dormancy. We also look forward to the brightness and festivity of the Christmas season just ahead. Soon the days will again lengthen just a bit, and slowly as we acclimate to winter we will leave dormancy behind and grow again into a new season of light.