Thursday, January 25, 2007

Long Shadows

It is very cold, -20C (-4F) tonight, and the sky has cleared with the north wind. I returned to the river trail after work to soak up some of the bright sunlight. I was surprised by the changes in the ice in 24 hours. The current continues to flow under the hardened surface and the moving water is thrusting large chunks of ice onto the river banks. The ice sheets have been pushed right up to the trail and will likely cover the path by next week. Water is a powerful, changing force. It was so cold that the trees creaked as the wind whistled in the branches.
Bunches of red berries hung in frozen clusters adding a spot of colour to the landscape. I saw no birds around the bushes and there was no sign of the hawk that was in this spot yesterday. I thought my shadow was impressive in the setting sun. Long Shadows Walking; Poems, Facts and Lore from Mushkegowuk is written by Mark Storey, a British born poet who emigrated to Canada's north. Here is one of his poems to go with my long shadow.

Across the Winter Gilt

Aglow with the headdress
of the setting sun
we and our long shadows
make for home
across the winter gilt
crunching and squeaking
past ascensions of golden smoke;
but the sun is a sorcerer
whose enchantments of light
come undone
one by one
to the cadence of our gait
and the spangled hood of night
so gently pulled upon us.


  1. Your post surely does give the feeling of cold, cold, cold. I like the way you describe the sound and feel of cold and ice. Good poem!

  2. And I forgot to say your shadow picture is good. Nice to see ya!

  3. Mary, I'm sure your leg shadows would have looked long and slim if you had been beside me. I just noticed all the pictures had disappeared. I have reposted them. A new Blogger trick!