To read the previous chapters of ‘Illuminating the Hidden Forest,’ click here. During the winter, the forest is spare. We can look through the trees at the distant landscapes, only visible now. But the near forest brings us something special, too: the intimate personalities of trees. We see their scars and bruises. We see trees upended
For me, winter in the Berkshires involves quite a bit of curling up on a window seat in my snug den, maybe with a book in hand, my dog lying on my tummy, looking forward to an afternoon nap and an early bedtime.
Farmer Tom is a one man-show, unless you count the dozens upon dozens of animals that are slowly transforming the rugged land through rotational grazing patterns, proving, in short, that many hooves make light work.
It is interesting to contemplate that weather is blamed for the demise of the Vikings, the French Revolution and the bubonic plague. It is also interesting that the founding of this country, the creation of our Constitution, the Civil War, American industrialization and our Gilded Age all happened against a backdrop of extreme cold and global climate change.
In his letter Ron Majdalany writes: “While both dogs and cows may be capable of survival without protection from the elements, good management practices dictate that neither species should be forced to do so.”
“We don’t see as much agriculture here as you would in a different part of the country,” Sean Stanton explained; as a result, “you end up with people wondering why the cows are outside in the snow and not understanding how their systems work.”
Below and left of Jupiter, relatively faint planet Mercury twinkles close above the skyline while, to the right of Mercury, red star Antares, also pale in the dawn light, rises into the winter morning sky.