Still Winter, Still a Pandemic, Still No Snow

I’m holed up, cozy, inside. Not so different from how I would be in ordinary times. But of course these are not ordinary times. There’s Pandemic School, for one; and Zoom yoga; and no coffee shops. And there is the woods. I’ve not spent so much time in the forest outside my door since childhood.

Pandemic School, back in the swing after our unexpected quarantine, was a mixed bag this week, as most weeks are. The Littles are working on “badges.” It was my idea, months ago, to relive my Girl Scout career through them.

Back when I didn’t have a clue how guiding school would go; when I had fantasies of them being excited to learn cool stuff they wouldn’t be learning in Ordinary School. Like we could watch the seasons change and nature happen in a square yard or two of woods. My visions died a quick death. But the moms pursued the badges idea. They are better parents than I ever was. They found patches and made up “requirements” and I’m halfheartedly trying to help.

Adrian is working on a weather badge. I coerce him each morning (well, there have been two mornings so far) to keep a weather log, including drawing a picture of what he sees out the dining room window. We talk about seasonal changes (there are none yet) and birds at the feeder. I added a phenology feature like I’m doing for my “Rooted” course.

Wednesday was “what makes rain?” day. I found a YouTube video of the water cycle for kids and he actually watched it. Then I had a Kickass Grandparenting Kitchen Science moment. We created the water cycle on the stove in a pot with a glass top: evaporation, condensation, precipitation. Booyah.

Elliot is doing sealife or something. He drew an octopus this week, with an instructional video. (He’ll do most anything if it involves his iPad, which has its upside!) I gave him a loop loom for Christmas, and I’ve taught him how to do it. He caught on quickly (much easier than knitting), and puts in a loop every day or three. Perhaps it will be a Christmas gift for the moms.

The instructions are long gone. I hope I can remember how to take it off the loom. I’m not sure if this specimen is from fourth grade, when Miss Armentrout was my art-loving teacher, or Girl Scouts. I bet someone who reads this will tell me though.

I got my first Covid shot on Sunday and was muchly tired and a little punky on Monday. I was challenged to do my Guide job righteously. At least I’m blaming it on the shot. I worked really hard to make sure the Littles moved their cotton balls from one jar to the other to earn their movie on Wednesday, catching them getting the job done in the tiniest of ways. I needed the break. Then they chose “Soul,” a movie they had seen three times before, and lost interest before it was over.

And always there is the woods. I leave it with you in photograph.

Hair ice in the woods and frost in the garden, on pretty much the only cold day of the winter. I’m counting on a repeat of the Snow of February 2019.

Sunny days and foggy.

Snowberries at Staebler Point.

The January full moon is known as the Wolf moon. I’m calling it the “Wish It Would Snow” moon. I felt lucky to see it when the clouds settled into valley fog and the sky cleared just as it came into view.

But spring is coming, to the woods and the garden, ready or not. (I’m not, really. I should live in Alaska.)

17 thoughts on “Still Winter, Still a Pandemic, Still No Snow

  1. I’ve read through this twice and my eye keeps going to that photo of rusty leaves with the web lace over the top. Fascinating shot. I keep seeing a hand reaching out … do you see it ? So happy to see Lena and I’m longing for a little snow too !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such perfection–fungi, new life, paths… Those looms are still available, so there’s probably a YouTube out there somewhere that shows the technique.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love how you have woven your Rooted course into learning for the grandkids. You are pretty amazing.
    Thanks for sharing all the beauty of the woods. Here in Ontario Canada just northeast of Toronto the snow has pretty much blanketed the land. It was -15 C this morning and my male Vizsla only lasted about 6 minutes in the cold before he cried that his feet were cold so home we went. Tomorrow they are calling for it to be a bit warmer so am hoping we can go for a long walk in this winter wonderland.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really “get” your longing for snow. I crave it, too; remembering my 58 years living in Wisconsin. There’s still a chance we might get a good snow cover here in the un-mountain area. Thanks again for all the marvelous words and photos. I’d never heard of hair ice.

    Liked by 1 person

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