The party is definitely over.  The docile weather of the last week seems to be history as the first light of day reveals snow slicing horizontally past the windows allowing us to barely make out the silhouettes of the trees nearest the house.

     We rarely seem to get those picturesque snow falls that pile the white fluff into tall columns upon fence posts and tree branches.  Snow out here on the plains usually comes at us with a vengeance, dead set on drilling through anything in its way and then amassing itself into deep hard-crusted drifts that can almost be walked upon; but not quite, making them almost impossible to traverse without snowshoes.

     On top of the snow and wind will come sub-zero temperatures and wind chills in the double digit negative range.  Even our cold and snow-loving Labrador retriever tries to put off the inevitable as long as possible before giving in to the necessity of going outside to ‘wash his paws.’  I think about the wild creatures outside, dug into some kind of protective cover while the blizzard rages around them.  Maybe the deer out in the draws behind the house are nearly as cold as the one in our deep freezer.  It’s a mean business being outside in a Minnesota blizzard.

     Before a big storm, people seem to scurry about; mobbing the grocery stores for food to tide them over should the storm last for days.  It’s a comfort to know that all I need to do is grab some potatoes, onions, and squash that were put into our cool storage area after harvest from the garden last fall and then grab a frozen package of wild duck from the deep freezer for tonight’s meal.  It’s good to know that not all the ducks have migrated south and this one has stayed to join us for dinner on a stormy night.



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