Flakes are swirling through the barren trees; eventually to cover the Allen Woods with a blanket of snow. The correct weather conditions have converged in such a way that our area has finally landed on the right side of the sleet/snow line.

       Sometimes when you walk down the hill among the trees, you can spot little deer prints in the snow. If you're really lucky, you may happen upon a group of deer almost hidden among the trees. There they are now......standing silently; so aware that you are nearby.

       There is a sudden bustle in the treetops as a couple of rambunctious squirrels perform death-defying leaps as they play a game of sky tag among the upper branches. Blackie, the Allen cat, is high-stepping gingerly behind me today, belly deep in the snow. She finally reaches the path I've already made and so she follows me as I head down to the creek. There the water flows slowly around little islets made of bent twigs, reeds or ancient broken tree stumps now crowned with snow caps. In such snowy weather, these islets stand out in stark contrast to the cold murky water - a tableau that often goes totally unnoticed during the hot steamy days of summer.

       But today, in the silence surrounding me, the falling snow paints the landscape and signals that winter has come to the banks of...


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