Saturday, February 26, 2011

Late Winter Quiet

I’m at my farm these waning days of winter. The snow is piled high around the buildings, as high as I can remember. It took me more than two hours with my tractor to plow out my driveway after the most recent snowstorm.

I watched a deer last night; a little doe with a thick coat of fur. She was feeding on the brush growing under the windbreak not twenty yards from the cabin. Although she was up to her belly in deep snow, she appeared healthy. Even with deep snow, she appeared to move easily, albeit very slowly.

This morning, as the late February sun begins to crawl above the horizon to the east, I pull on my parka and head for the woodshed, a several times a day task in winter, as my wood stove has a never ending appetite. The thermometer reads 15 degrees. What I notice these chilly late winter mornings is the quiet—oh so quiet. The only sound is that of my boots creaking on the snow. I stop and listen to the silence—a real treat as most of my life is filled with sound.

As the first rays of sun appear, I hear it, off to the east, a cardinal shattering the silence, welcoming the new day, and welcoming the seasonal change as well.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Change and progress are not the same thing.

My newest book, CAMPFIRES AND LOON CALLS: TRAVELS IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS is in the bookstores. My son, Steve and I have canoed in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota for 25 years. This is our story. Go to: for more information, including an interview.

March 2, 7:00 p.m. River Falls Library. Smithsonian’s “Key Ingredients: America By Food.” (Farming History).

March 5, 3:00 p.m. City Hall, Platteville (Old Farm).

March 5, 7:00 p.m. Mining Museum-405 E. Main, Platteville: (Horse Drawn Days).

March 6, 2:00 p.m. Pioneer Dinner, Milton House Museum, Seventh Day Baptist Church, Milton (Remembering our Rural Heritage).

March 9, 11:45-12:30 Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio (Campfires and Loon Calls).

March 11, 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, 3:30 p.m. Canoecopia, Alliant Center, Madison:. (Campfires and Loon Calls).

March 15, 10:30 a.m. Eager Free Library, Evansville, WI.

March 15, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble, Madison West. (Launch for Campfires and Loon Calls).

March 17, 2:00-4:00. Monroe Arts Center, Monroe. Memories into Memoirs—Writers’ Workshop.

March 17, 7:00 p.m. Monroe Arts Center. (Our Rural Heritage).

March 20, 7:00 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society, Fire Station, New Lebanon. (Horse Drawn Days).

March 26, 9:30 a.m., Richland County Electric Co-op, Richland Center High School.

March 29, 7:00 p.m. Manawa Public Library. (In a Pickle).

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